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Free Talk Live => General => Topic started by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 10:51:03 AM

Title: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 10:51:03 AM
This is something a rational minarchist might advocate to solve the one fatal flaw of secular libertarianism: inevitable cultural and/or economic collapse due to very low birth rates.

Here's how it would work: each person is responsible for fathering / birthing and raising two children (unless you have a good medical excuse of course, but being gay ain't it).  If you fail to have your first child by 30 and second child by 40, you pay a hefty tax until you do.  The money would be used to care for orphans, expand free / "open source" educational resources for children, and help poor people with lots of kids.  It can be facilitated like Islamic taxation: forced through violence, but you can pay it to any valid cause, avoiding centralized government: reputable charities / orphanages or directly to people who have / adopt lots of kids, and so on.

Brace yourselves.  If by mind can conceive of such evil, so can others.

And start having babies!  I mean it!

And I'm totally going to impose this on myself when I turn 30.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Elitist Bitch on April 19, 2009, 11:18:29 AM
This is ridiculous. So how would it work in this scenario if I'm unable to have children for medical reasons and my husband is? Would he have to pay the tax if I don't find him some woman to knock up? Then would we have to pay to assist raising this child? What about single people? Will we start having mandatory marriage too?

I see two things happening in this scenario: A large number of doctors suddenly being able to afford 5 BMWs because they have the misfortune to have a lot of infertile patients, and a huge rise in child abuse and neglect because people are forced to have children they don't want. 

I hate the vast majority of children. They smell, they're loud, they're annoying and they're too much work. At least I'm smart enough to know that and not have kids anyway hoping that things will somehow change. That's how a whole carful of kids get drowned in a lake.

Ridiculous, as usual, Libman. I realize I just got trolled, but some things are just too stupid to not comment on.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: NHArticleTen on April 19, 2009, 11:30:26 AM
in the current "system" being able to claim some chitlins/dependents is an advantage if one is "in the system"...

I'd like to know if ANY of the "income tax" collected survives the massive amount of "earned income credit" checks that are sent out in the "rob peter to give to paul" "wealth redistribution more commonly known as the income tax"...

I seriously doubt that it does...

in fact, I'd be more inclined towards it being a negative sum after all the EIC checks go out and all the IRS hoards of bureaucrats and thugs are "paid"...

is it any wonder why it's the taxsters and their thugsters that are most often the desired targets of the tar, feathers, and pitchforks of the peasant slaves...

don't they know that they will "get" "theirs" someday!?!

do they really believe they will be able to loot and steal forever without getting their just rewards!?!

to wit, the very mobocracy that they looted for...that very mob...is going to come drag them and their families out of their beds and put them on spits...roasting them...and eating their very flesh for sustenance...

do they not understand that?

hmmm....

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 11:58:44 AM
So how would it work in this scenario if I'm unable to have children for medical reasons and my husband is?

It's not an idea that I like, I'm just making you aware of it.  Most liberal implementations of this idea might say "if there's only one wife in a marriage and she can't have children for a valid medical reason, then the first 3 of her husbands are excused from this tax".  Most conservative implementations might say: hey, if population declines we all suffer so pay up, no excuses.  It depends on how bad the birth rate gets.

Would he have to pay the tax if I don't find him some woman to knock up?  Then would we have to pay to assist raising this child?  What about single people?

Under more conservative implementations, that's the idea.  And single people are economic / demographic parasites unless they contribute to the next generation (i.e. raising your own kids or paying for someone else's).  Hey, it's not the government imposing some arbitrary socialist bullshit on you, it's a stone-cold economic fact.  Population matters.


Will we start having mandatory marriage too?

Those might be beneficial (not moral, but beneficial) in a Battlestar Galactica type situation where humanity was reduced to around 40,000 people left alive.


[...] people are forced to have children they don't want.

That's not accurate, people would not be forced to have children, they'd be financially encouraged.  Cases of bad parenting would in fact go down because there'd be so many people competing to adopt children, which would now be a financial benefit instead of a burden.

An average middle-class family, in this case one husband and one wife, might have to pay around $10,000 a year each (calculated as fraction of their average income) if they have 0 kids.  If they have 1 kid, now they're paying $5,000 each.  If they have 2 kids they break even.  And if the wife decides to quit her job and have / adopt 12 children total, that's a $100,000 a year income she'd be making, working from home, doing what nature intended her to do!  But that's a very conservative implementation, I think a more liberal one with lower childless tax rates would be sufficient to get the fertility rate out of the red.


I hate the vast majority of children. They smell, they're loud, they're annoying and they're too much work.

You may hate children, but you yourself were born.  See the economic paradox?

Through this system you can escape this paradox by paying someone else to have your children for you.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 19, 2009, 12:30:05 PM
This is something a rational minarchist might advocate to solve the one fatal flaw of secular libertarianism: inevitable cultural and/or economic collapse due to very low birth rates.

I don't see either of these things as being iinevitable, or the problem as being likely.

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Here's how it would work: each person is responsible for fathering / birthing and raising two children (unless you have a good medical excuse of course, but being gay ain't it). 

Why? Who do I have this responsibility to? Sorry, I own myself, and so nobody has any right that I have a child.

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If you fail to have your first child by 30 and second child by 40, you pay a hefty tax until you do.  The money would be used to care for orphans, expand free / "open source" educational resources for children, and help poor people with lots of kids.  It can be facilitated like Islamic taxation: forced through violence, but you can pay it to any valid cause, avoiding centralized government: reputable charities / orphanages or directly to people who have / adopt lots of kids, and so on.

Brace yourselves.  If by mind can conceive of such evil, so can others.

And start having babies!  I mean it!

And I'm totally going to impose this on myself when I turn 30.


Here is alternative: Why not draft people into breeding factories, milk sperm from them constantly, and forcably artificially fertilise women, keeping them restrained until the baby is born, so it isn't terminated.

That sounds like a "libertarian solution" to this totally unlikely "problem" you have dreamed up!
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: atomiccat on April 19, 2009, 12:53:45 PM
No Taxes for ANYTHING, and there is no problem with low birth rates the government gives free money to poor people who shouldn't have children, and even if everyone only had 1 child and population declined slowly, advances in science would solve the Depopulation problems which we would have several generations to fix.

and of course there will be the Mormons who have like 10 kids to make up for the rest of the people
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 01:00:48 PM
I don't see either of these things as being iinevitable, or the problem as being likely.

Can you name one secular individualist culture that has a positive fertility rate?

Some Muslim theocrat will have 7 children, 50 grandchildren, 350 great-grandchildren, 2,000 descendants in the 4th generation, 10,000 in the 5th, and so on.  (Note the declining rate of growth as some of them abandon radical Islam, but most won't.)  And pretty soon they'll come over and force Islam down your descendants' throats (if any), and I do hope life extension technology would progress enough for you to see that for yourself.

Our ideas have to work in the long term, which they do economically but not demographically.


Why? Who do I have this responsibility to?

Because you were born, which is a consequence of millions of your ancestors choosing to reproduce (and some of them had a far more difficult time with it than you would).  They may be dead, but it is the one natural responsibility that you inherit along with the benefits of life and civilization.


Sorry, I own myself, and so nobody has any right that I have a child.

You don't own yourself just because you WANT to own yourself, there is a rational foundation behind self-ownership: it works, in encourages people to produce and cooperate, it is precisely compatible with the natural principles of evolution.  But childlessness doesn't work - that's called extinction!

You own your life, but willful failure to contribute to human reproduction is an act of aggression against the broader system of life of which you are a part.


Here is alternative: Why not draft people into breeding factories, milk sperm from them constantly, and forcably artificially fertilise women, keeping them restrained until the baby is born, so it isn't terminated.

That's awful!  Like I said:  You own your life.  You just can't initiate aggression against others, which includes aggression against the mechanisms of life itself.

And the last thing we want is for people to reproduce at maximum capacity (do the exponential math), which would be an economic disaster and inevitably lead to the suffering and death of tens of billions (at least).

But no one wants to reproduce at their maximum capacity when given the freedom of choice.  Birth rates are declining all over the world, which will soon be a major economic problem, like it already is in places like Japan...


No Taxes for ANYTHING [...]

It doesn't even have to be a tax, as minarchists would propose - it could be a decentralized and flexible cultural value, like not torturing horses.  Like I've said, I'd be willing to donate to charity voluntarily.  Anyone know a good orphanage in New Hampshire?


[...] even if everyone only had 1 child and population declined slowly, advances in science would solve the Depopulation problems which we would have several generations to fix.

You can't "solve" an economic loss.  It's like a socialist saying "governments grew in the 20th century, and economic growth continued just fine" - yes, but the economic growth would have been far greater without government intervention.  It works the same way with population loss.


[...] and of course there will be the Mormons who have like 10 kids to make up for the rest of the people

Mormons have more like 4 kids on average, and they aren't particularly known for their libertarianism.  (Though still not as bad as Muslims, see above.)  They've recently ganged up against gay marriage, for instance, and the philosophical core of their position is precisely what I'm talking about here.  The solution I'm offering is far better, and would actually help legitimize homosexual and childless lifestyles.  Who cares if they have children themselves or not, they are still contributing to human reproduction.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 19, 2009, 01:27:55 PM
I don't see either of these things as being iinevitable, or the problem as being likely.

Name one secular individualist culture that has a positive fertility rate?

What is a "positive fertility rate"?

I still notice that you don't explain the "economic and cultural collapse" thing.

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Why? Who do I have this responsibility to?

Because you were born, which is a consequence of millions of your ancestors choosing to reproduce (and some of them had a far more difficult time with it than you would).

So, because they chose to reproduce, I have a duty to? Why?

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They may be dead, but it is the one responsibility that you inherit along with the benefits of life and civilization.

Nonsense. There is no such responsibility.

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Sorry, I own myself, and so nobody has any right that I have a child.

You don't own yourself just because you WANT to own yourself, there is a rational foundation behind self-ownership: it works, in encourages people to produce and cooperate, it is precisely compatible with the natural principles of evolution.  But childlessness doesn't work - that's called extinction!

You said that self-ownership is "precisely compatible with the natural principles of evolution." If this is true, then it doesn't make sense to say that self-ownership should be violated, by punishing people with taxes unless they use their bodies certain ways, extinction will follow.

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You own your life, but willful failure to contribute to human reproduction is an act of aggression against the broader system of life of which you are a part.

Nonsense, who is the person I am aggressing against.

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Here is alternative: Why not draft people into breeding factories, milk sperm from them constantly, and forcably artificially fertilise women, keeping them restrained until the baby is born, so it isn't terminated.

That's awful!  Like I said - you own your life.  You just can't initiate aggression against others, which includes aggression against the mechanisms of life itself.

"Aggression against the mechanisms of life itself." There are no "mechanisms of life" I am aggressing against, and aggression is only wrong if it violates rights, and "mechanisms of life itself" have no rights.

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And the last thing we want is for people to reproduce at maximum capacity (do the exponential math), which would be an economic disaster and inevitably lead to the suffering and death of tens of billions (at least).

But no one wants to reproduce at their maximum capacity when given the freedom of choice.  Birth rates are declining all over the world, which will soon be a major economic problem, like it already is in places like Japan...

No it isn't.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 02:44:04 PM
What is a "positive fertility rate"?

How many kids a woman must have to keep the population stable.  With modern first-world infant mortality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality) and other death rates, I'd say 2.15 children per functional vagina on average ought to do it.


I still notice that you don't explain the "economic and cultural collapse" thing.

Declining population means some productivity gains are wasted on the necessity of the economy making do with fewer people, and if productivity doesn't increase fast enough then we have economic contraction and an actual decline in standards of living: work more hours, make less, be able to afford less stuff.

Aging population means higher cost of living (medical costs), slower adaption of new ideas and technologies (old people don't learn as fast), inflated cost of physical labor, inflated security costs (i.e. your neighbor can't defend himself because his hands shake), and so on.

Oh heck... ever see the film Idiocracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy)?  That's no joke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysgenics)!

And don't forget, we're talking about relative loss here.  It might be the difference between 1% and 4% yearly growth in the world GDP, over time it makes a huge difference.  And we're not just talking about money here, it could be a matter of life and death - someone curing your diabetes when you're 60, curing your cancer when you're 70, curing your heart disease when you're 80, making you look like Brad Pitt when you're 90, upgrading your brain capacity when you're 200, and so on.


So, because they chose to reproduce, I have a duty to? Why?

I am in the process of explaining why.  For the same reason why you have individual rights: the functional reality of human nature.  Reproduction is a self-evident evolutionary advantage.  You may not like the answer, but c'est la vie, you can't blame the universe for 2 plus 2 adding up to 4, it just does.


Nonsense. There is no such responsibility.

Yes there is.  You are responsible for the harm you do to others: murder, theft, wrongful imprisonment, property damage (like pollution), or demographic damage.  A crime that harms everyone a tiny bit is still a crime.

You are not responsible for working for society: presuming you don't initiate aggression then what you do for money is your own damn business.  You are not responsible for spending money on anything but your pleasure (once again, within the context of the non-aggression principle) - read Ayn Rand.  There is just one exception that Objectivist / Libertarian / Anarcho-Capitalist philosophers failed to understand - when it comes to reproduction, your life is not entirely your own.

No one consciously chooses to be born, but by doing so you nonetheless enter into biological debt.  This debt is not just to your mother - she may have consented to you being born by allowing that to happen, but she was fulfilling her own biological debt (as was your father).  You have to pay it forward - your biological debt is to the children that you would need to bring into this would to keep the process going beyond your own generation, no matter if you contribute biologically, financially, or both.


[...] who is the person I am aggressing against.

Image you're driving a car at high speed and suddenly you close your eyes and let go of the wheel - you crash into somebody's house causing property damage and physical as well as mental injuries.  The consequences of this crime are very direct: there's one criminal and a finite quantity of people in that house who are victims.  When you willfully refuse to reproduce, on the other hand, the consequences are delayed.  You benefit from the fact that your ancestors didn't fail to reproduce, but you don't pass that debt to the next generation.

Imagine you are a due-paying member of a club of people that has a couple billion members (not sure how many people willfully have less than two children, but that detail doesn't matter).  What this club does is release a virus into the earth's atmosphere that quickly infects every human being, regardless of whether they were members of that club or not.  That virus doesn't do anything for decades, but then it gradually starts to have a negative economic effect each person infected (which is everyone), same as a declining population has a negative effect.  Is that not a crime?


"Aggression against the mechanisms of life itself." There are no "mechanisms of life" I am aggressing against, and aggression is only wrong if it violates rights, and "mechanisms of life itself" have no rights.

I am hereby saying that they do, and I am basing that argument on the same rational basis as individual human rights.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on April 19, 2009, 03:33:48 PM
Fuck no.  Next?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 19, 2009, 03:41:05 PM
What is a "positive fertility rate"?

How many kids a woman must have to keep the population stable.  With modern first-world infant mortality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality) and other death rates, I'd say 2.15 children per functional vagina on average ought to do it.


I still notice that you don't explain the "economic and cultural collapse" thing.

Declining population means some productivity gains are wasted on the necessity of the economy making do with fewer people, and if productivity doesn't increase fast enough then we have economic contraction and an actual decline in standards of living: work more hours, make less, be able to afford less stuff.

Just as more mouths to feed means more hands to feed them, surely fewer hands to feed mouths means fewer mouths to feed. It balances out.

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So, because they chose to reproduce, I have a duty to? Why?

I've already explained why.  For the same reason why you have individual rights: the functional reality of human nature.  Reproduction is a self-evident evolutionary advantage.  You may not like the answer, but c'est la vie, you can't blame the universe for 2 plus 2 adding up to 4, it just does.

This still doesn't explain why I have an enforcable duty to have kids. It is for the good of the human race that some people reproduce, sure, but (a) why does that mean that that somebody should be me, and (b) I scarcely benefit from that anyway.

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Nonsense. There is no such responsibility.

Yes there is.  You are responsible for the harm you do to others: murder, theft, wrongful imprisonment, property damage (like pollution), or demographic damage.  A crime that harms everyone a tiny bit is still a crime.

Define "harm."

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You are not responsible for working for society: presuming you don't initiate aggression then what you do for money is your own damn business.  You are not responsible for spending money on anything but your pleasure (once again, within the context of the non-aggression principle) - read Ayn Rand.  There is just one exception that Objectivist / Libertarian / Anarcho-Capitalist philosophers failed to understand - when it comes to reproduction, your life is not entirely your own.

Only presuming we have a duty to reproduce at a certain rate that can be enforced. But that is precisely what is in question: There is no such duty. It may be charitable of me to reproduce 2.2 times in order to help ensure the survival of the species, but forcing me to violates my ownership of my body, which is an injustice.

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[...] who is the person I am aggressing against.

Image you're driving a car at high speed and suddenly you close your eyes and let go of the wheel - you crash into somebody's house causing property damage and physical as well as mental injuries.  The consequences of this crime are very direct: there's one criminal and a finite quantity of people in that house who are victims.  When you willfully refuse to reproduce, on the other hand, the consequences are delayed.  You benefit from the fact that your ancestors didn't fail to reproduce, but you don't pass that debt to the next generation.

Your speeding analogy is... well, not an analogy. I can't see any comparison. In that case there are identifiable victims of my actions. If I don't reproduce, on the other hand, nobody's rights are violated. It might not be nice for the people who would otherwise have existed that they are not going to now, but then they woon't suffer from that because, hey, they don't exist.

You claim that I benefitted from my parent's decision not to reproduce. But I didn't. There is no possible point of comparison: If they didn't, then I wouldn't have existed. How could that be a better or worse alternative? It can't be.

Then you say that because I benefitted I incur some sort of a debt. Why? Benefitting somebody does not automatically mean that they owe you something for it. I benefit somebody everytime I deoderise before riding a crowded subway train. They don't "owe" me for it, though. You benefit if your neighbour keeps a well maintained yard, but that doesn't mean he should charge his gardening costs to you. Benefitting from somebody doesn't create a debt to them, necessarily.

And that brings us on to the third point, you say that I should pass this debt on to the third generation. Why? In what way is my having kids a payment of the debt I supposedly owe my parents for their giving birth to me?

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Imagine you are a due-paying member of a club of people that has a couple billion members (not sure how many people willfully have less than two children, but that detail doesn't matter).  What this club does is release a virus into the earth's atmosphere that quickly infects every human being, regardless of whether they were members of that club or not.  That virus doesn't do anything for decades, but then it gradually starts to have a negative economic effect each person infected (which is everyone), same as a declining population has a negative effect.  Is that not a crime?

Is what not a crime? Causing a negative economic effect? Or infecting people with a virus? Infecting unconsenting people with a virus is the crime. Causing a negative economic effect is not.

You don't need to invent wild and confusing scenarios about viruses to set up a better analogy: You are saying that full self-owners may excerise their self-ownership rights in such a way - choosing not to reproduce - that causes a negative economic effect on everybody, even those that do choose to reproduce. Your virus analogy doesn't capture that, since it is not abour people exercising self-ownership, but violating that of others, which people who do not choose to reproduce don't do. So a better analogy would be this: If fifty million Americans decide that they would be happy to take a pay cut in exchange for an extra day's weekend, the result would be similar to what you are warning about reproduction: A negative economic impact on everybody. Now your argument is that these people should be punished in such a way as to give them an incentive to lose that extra day's weekend and work. But this amounts to forced labour and is a violation of forced labour.

Spreading a virus may be a crime. Causing a negative economic impact on others is not.

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"Aggression against the mechanisms of life itself." There are no "mechanisms of life" I am aggressing against, and aggression is only wrong if it violates rights, and "mechanisms of life itself" have no rights.

I am hereby saying that they do, and I am basing that argument on the same rational basis as individual human rights.

Assuming that people only have rights insofar as they contribute to human evolution. But that is not a very sound basis for rights.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 03:44:41 PM
Fuck no.  Next?

What, you're going to prevent me from voluntarily donating to an orphanage or an adoption charity, believing that it is my obligation to do so (contrary to my rejection of other forms of altruism), and encouraging others to do the same?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 19, 2009, 03:49:29 PM
Fuck no.  Next?

What, you're going to prevent me from voluntarily donating to an orphanage or an adoption charity, believing that it is my obligation to do so (contrary to my rejection of other forms of altruism), and encouraging others to do the same?


That's fine. Just don't encourage the use of violence and agression against peaceful people who refuse to do likewise.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on April 19, 2009, 04:07:40 PM
Fuck no.  Next?

What, you're going to prevent me from voluntarily donating to an orphanage or an adoption charity, believing that it is my obligation to do so (contrary to my rejection of other forms of altruism), and encouraging others to do the same?

Taxes = not voluntary. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: NHArticleTen on April 19, 2009, 04:18:35 PM

this thread=eyes bleeding

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 06:07:54 PM
Just as more mouths to feed means more hands to feed them, surely fewer hands to feed mouths means fewer mouths to feed. It balances out.

What you've said makes no sense.  The human civilization benefits from the economy of scale: it takes a billion people to produce an iPhone.  Not all of them work on it directly, but all jobs are interdependent.  (Someone has to grow the rice to feed the worker who mines the iron ore to make the metal in the car that an accountant drives to meet with a client who makes sex toys that encourage a secretary to work overtime helping a lawyer enforce a contract on a software development consultant who programs a robot to manufacture shipping containers that are used to transport medicine that is needed by a ...  you get the idea.)

Furthermore, there is a benefit of having more inputs in any natural selection process.  I'm not saying it is impossible for Liechtenstein to beat Germany or Brazil in soccer, but it's highly unlikely: those larger countries have a lot more soccer players competing to play in their local playgrounds, high schools, colleges, amateur teams, minor leagues, major leagues, and finally the national team.  The same applies to all fields of human endeavor: statistically speaking, the IQ of the smartest person within a population goes up or down depending on population size.  The more people you have, the smarter are the super-geniuses you have to make huge innovative leaps forward.


This still doesn't explain why I have an enforcable duty to have kids. It is for the good of the human race that some people reproduce, sure, but (a) why does that mean that that somebody should be me, and (b) I scarcely benefit from that anyway.

(A) I didn't say you have to have kids yourself, I've said you have a moral obligation to contribute to the next generation.  You can pay others to fulfill this obligation for you.

(B) You don't benefit from repaying debts, you've benefited from debts when you acquired them, which in this case was when you were born.


Define "harm."

Damage or injury.  In this context we are talking about an unnatural action that causes damage or injury to the rights of other entity or entities that possess natural rights.  In this case "unnatural" means: contrary to the reality of being prior to your intervention.

If I didn't have a shotgun wound in my head and your actions caused me to have one, then you have violated my right to life, even if your shotgun went off by accident.  If a million people didn't have pollution in the water on their property and you put it there, then you've violated their right to property, even if it was through inaction, like failing to re-enforce storage containers containing nuclear waste that deteriorated over time.  Etc.

Reproduction is a fundamental part of human nature, and your existence is a consequence of millions of your ancestors who've acted on this nature.  Your unnatural failure to perpetuate this cycle of life causes economic damage that grows over time.  It is comparable to hiding a robot somewhere underground that is programmed to activate sometime in the future, dig itself out, and release a virus or otherwise do light economic damage to a large quantity of people.


Only presuming we have a duty to reproduce at a certain rate that can be enforced.

Look at history.  You will see this duty encouraged (and at times violently enforced, but that's really not necessary) through cultural values in Christianity, Confucianism, and other cultures that have stood the test of time.  And you will see the failure to enforce those values in cultures that have collapsed.  The same argument that backs the triumph of capitalism over socialism also backs the triumph of rational natalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalism) - a culture that discourages willful failure to reproduce.


But that is precisely what is in question: There is no such duty. It may be charitable of me to reproduce 2.2 times in order to help ensure the survival of the species, but forcing me to violates my ownership of my body, which is an injustice.

Imagine a socialist saying: "Property rights do not exist.  It may be charitable for me to respect your property if I like the way you manage it, but forcing me violates my right to access the same property, which is an injustice."  :roll:

You can't make an effective argument by just stating your opinion, you have to demonstrate the rightness of your argument by objective means, like through a valid experiment.  Unfortunately in our case a complete experiment would have to last hundreds or even thousands of years, so we have to extrapolate from smaller observations, historical examples, and common sense.  You would have to refute the following claims:





If I don't reproduce, on the other hand, nobody's rights are violated.

What about the "suckers" who do reproduce: they spend a huge fraction of their time and money to have children.  The vast majority of people who reproduce in the first world do so out of a sense of obligation that you do not share.  Most of this ideology is religious and is in decline, along with the birth rates.  And survival of everyone does depend on people continuing to have children.  You were born, and so was everyone you've ever done business with, directly or indirectly.

Willful failure to reproduce is harming the human species as a whole.  I know this sounds like an appeal to altruism, but it isn't - altruism is economically harmful, while rational natalism is economically beneficial, perhaps even essential.  I know this sounds like an appeal to collectivism, but collectivism is beneficial in some particular cases, and this is one of them.


It might not be nice for the people who would otherwise have existed that they are not going to now, but then they woon't suffer from that because, hey, they don't exist.

People who don't exist don't have rights.  (Duh!)  I fully support the right of contraception, vasectomy, abortion, etc.  But you are obligated to pull your own weight, economically and biologically.  To live and to refuse to reproduce, expecting others to reproduce for you, is theft!  It is no different than a government "welfare" program that is funded through inflation: everyone experiences economic harm for the benefit of the lazy.


(Gotta start dinner, will reply to the rest in a little bit.)
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 07:57:24 PM
You claim that I benefitted from my parent's decision not to reproduce. But I didn't. There is no possible point of comparison: If they didn't, then I wouldn't have existed. How could that be a better or worse alternative? It can't be.

(I'll assume the word "not" I highlighted in red should be ignored.)  Ah, the "I didn't ask to be born" argument which I've perfected and abandoned when I was 7...  Well, you did, just not consciously.  Before you were a human being you were a fetus, and before that a genetic algorithm, in effect, asking to be born.  Why else were you born?  And if your conscious mind objects to being alive, suicide is always an option.  (But I for one will miss you.)


Then you say that because I benefitted I incur some sort of a debt. Why? Benefitting somebody does not automatically mean that they owe you something for it.

I'm sorry, but you fail to understand the very nature of human rights.  Hurman beings don't have rights because we want to have rights, human beings have rights because they provide a competitive evolutionary advantage.  Empirical evidence shows that a society that denies all human rights will not evolve past the hunter-gather stage of human civilization.  A society that denies fewer rights has an advantage over a society that denies more rights.  Etc.

All talk of "rights" should go away in an emergency (http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/emergencies.html) [2] (http://www.jeffcomp.com/faq/murder.html) in favor of a higher imperative of survival, and population collapse is in fact such an emergency.  In a Battlestar Galactica type scenario, a military dictatorship that takes away individual rights would be perfectly acceptable if that increases humanity's narrow odds of surviving the next Cylon attack.  The situation isn't as drastic now, and neither should be the action taken: just mild financial coercion.  If going forward birth rates stabilize (as I believe they will in a freer society due to greater parents' rights), this would no longer be necessary.


I benefit somebody everytime I deoderise before riding a crowded subway train.  [...]

Is your body odor strong enough to kill, or cause the decline of human civilization?


And that brings us on to the third point, you say that I should pass this debt on to the third generation. Why? In what way is my having kids a payment of the debt I supposedly owe my parents for their giving birth to me?

Your debt is not from your parents to your children, it is to the human civilization as a whole.  Especially the guy you see driving a minivan full of noisy kids.  You owe him.  And if you don't pay him, pretty soon guys like him will stop having kids, eventually leading to the world populated entirely by old people fighting over insufficient resources they don't have the manpower to renew.


Is what not a crime? Causing a negative economic effect? Or infecting people with a virus? Infecting unconsenting people with a virus is the crime. Causing a negative economic effect is not.

What's the difference?  (And note that I'm not talking about causing an economic collapse by publishing some information that will cause a panic, that only exposes the weaknesses and errors already inherent in some forms of speculative investment.)

Sometimes it is possible to cause harm through inaction, like in the "decaying container with nuclear waste" example I've mentioned previously.  Reproduction is a unique duty that must be required or at least encouraged from all, without it civilization collapses.


[...] So a better analogy would be this: If fifty million Americans decide that they would be happy to take a pay cut in exchange for an extra day's weekend, the result would be similar to what you are warning about reproduction: A negative economic impact on everybody. Now your argument is that these people should be punished in such a way as to give them an incentive to lose that extra day's weekend and work. But this amounts to forced labour and is a violation of forced labour.

No, your example doesn't compare.  There is a direct incentive for people to work, and it is their right to quit working entirely and beg for bread and water if they so choose, but they don't have a right to force others to feed them.  Failure to pull your own economic weight and forcing others to do it for you is called theft, but how is failure to pull your biological weight any different?  It isn't.


Assuming that people only have rights insofar as they contribute to human evolution. But that is not a very sound basis for rights.

It is THE basis for rights.  Sometimes it is expressed through other words, like God or Nature, but it's really the same thing.


That's fine. Just don't encourage the use of violence and agression against peaceful people who refuse to do likewise.

I said a Minarchist would advocate this as a coercive tax, and it would be an improvement over the current system that is at least intended to have a similar effect (i.e. free schools, child tax credit, etc).  I'm both a Minarchist and an AnCap - the former is a stable version that can be used now, the latter is a beta-testing version with new features but not yet ready for general use.  In the meantime, why let "great" be the enemy of "good"?


Taxes = not voluntary.

You're using a bad dictionary.  Even Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax) uses the term "a state or the functional equivalent of a state".  There is such a thing as a "natural tax", like I always say that the natural tax on property is the cost of proving that you own it and defending it.  A voluntary organization can tax as well: a church might require that you pay tithing, a neighborhood association will have dues, a club will have a membership fee, and so on.  I am a big fan of Anarcho-Capitalism, but I don't claim that it is a proven system, and it definitely cannot be applied to society at large without a lengthy transition period of Minarchism.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on April 19, 2009, 08:01:29 PM
Taxes = not voluntary.

You're using a bad dictionary.  Even Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax) uses the term "a state or the functional equivalent of a state".  There is such a thing as a "natural tax", like I always say that the natural tax on property is the cost of proving that you own it and defending it.  A voluntary organization can tax as well: a church might require that you pay tithing, a neighborhood association will have dues, a club will have a membership fee, and so on. 

So you're talking about a contribution, then.  Well, my answer remains the same-- fuck, no.  I'm not having babies, and I'm not paying for other people to have babies. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 08:05:31 PM
I'm not having babies, and I'm not paying for other people to have babies.

This is no different than a communist who refuses to recognize property rights.

If human civilization is to survive, human beings must be forced to pull their own economic weight.

By any means necessary.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on April 19, 2009, 08:09:25 PM
I'm not having babies, and I'm not paying for other people to have babies.

This is no different than a communist who refuses to recognize property rights.

My insistence on my property rights and refusal to hand over property to people who are doing something I have no particular desire to encourage is the same as a communist who refuses to recognize property rights? 

Maybe in some other dimension, but not this one. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 08:44:04 PM
My insistence on my property rights and refusal to hand over property to people who are doing something I have no particular desire to encourage is the same as a communist who refuses to recognize property rights?

You're talking about two different types of rights, "negative" and "positive" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights).  The vast majority of us agree that you have the "negative" rights to life, liberty, and property.  Since this is a libertarian BBS, we probably also agree that most things people claim as "positive" rights are bullshit: public education, free health care, social security, and so on.  There are, however, a few "positive" rights that are imperative and require the responsible conduct of others.

One example is the "positive" right to a fair trial: even in an Anarcho-Capitalist society you shouldn't be able to punish someone without some standard of due process (unless it's an emergency, i.e. self-defense).  A child's "positive" right to life means parents / guardians have an obligation to at very least let others know that they are unable or unwilling to take care of that child any longer, simply letting a child secretly die of neglect is murder.  An intruder who wandered onto your property by accident has a "positive" right to free exit.  Etc.

Your "negative" rights to your body and your property does not trump the few "positive" rights of everyone else that do exist, and the existence of those "positive" rights is evidenced by their necessity.


Maybe in some other dimension, but not this one.

Maybe in some other dimension it is possible for the human civilization to exist without reproduction, but in this one it isn't.  At least not yet.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: slayerboy on April 19, 2009, 08:48:35 PM
this thread makes my head hurt....
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on April 19, 2009, 09:54:56 PM
Your "negative" rights to your body and your property does not trump the few "positive" rights of everyone else that do exist, and the existence of those "positive" rights is evidenced by their necessity.

You have not remotely demonstrated that there is any such thing as a positive right of someone to my money for the purpose of bearing and raising children. 

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Maybe in some other dimension it is possible for the human civilization to exist without reproduction, but in this one it isn't.  At least not yet.

If you could point out some place where I said anything to the contrary, that might be relevant.

If you're just going to continue to fling out non sequiters, I'm done talking to you.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: miamiballoonguy on April 19, 2009, 10:05:51 PM
This is something a rational minarchist might advocate to solve the one fatal flaw of secular libertarianism: inevitable cultural and/or economic collapse due to very low birth rates.

Here's how it would work: each person is responsible for fathering / birthing and raising two children (unless you have a good medical excuse of course, but being gay ain't it).  If you fail to have your first child by 30 and second child by 40, you pay a hefty tax until you do.  The money would be used to care for orphans, expand free / "open source" educational resources for children, and help poor people with lots of kids.  It can be facilitated like Islamic taxation: forced through violence, but you can pay it to any valid cause, avoiding centralized government: reputable charities / orphanages or directly to people who have / adopt lots of kids, and so on.

Brace yourselves.  If by mind can conceive of such evil, so can others.

And start having babies!  I mean it!

And I'm totally going to impose this on myself when I turn 30.


Well, it is in effect already although not directly.  I mean people with kids get tax deductions, and people without, don't.  So the point is mute.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 10:47:16 PM
You have not remotely demonstrated that there is any such thing as a positive right of someone to my money for the purpose of bearing and raising children.

Your failure to understand the economic significance of declining birth rates is not my problem.


If you're just going to continue to fling out non sequiters, I'm done talking to you.

Even when I stop being "33% more Richarded" than R3?  ;)


Well, it is in effect already although not directly.  I mean people with kids get tax deductions, and people without, don't.  So the point is mute.

Not mute, it is an actionable idea for a Minarchist government program to take away state altruism without taking away its natalist effect (and possibly increase / decrease it depending on current birth rate statistics).  We're talking about a tax that would only apply to individuals who have / adopt less than 2 children, only after a certain age, and only if the national birth rate is too low.  And that tax can be paid to a reputable orphanage / charity of your choice.  Isn't that an improvement over the current system?

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on April 19, 2009, 10:49:14 PM
Your failure to understand the economic significance of declining birth rates is not my problem.

Your inability to support the foundational claim of your argument is not my problem. 

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Even when I stop being "33% more Richarded" than R3?  ;)

I didn't mean I'm going to stop talking to you in general, about everything.  But I'm done talking to you about this stupid topic. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 19, 2009, 10:58:42 PM
Your inability to support the foundational claim of your argument is not my problem.

I did.  Which of my points do you challenge?


[...] I'm done talking to you about this stupid topic.

It's not a "stupid topic", it is a powerful argument that conservatives / minarchists make in defense of the state.  If everyone had as many children as Ayn Rand or Ian Freeman (presuming he doesn't rewire his plumbing back the way it was, etc) - the human race would go extinct in one generation, and its last years on earth would not be very comfortable. 

Someone has to breed, and breed enough to prevent economic collapse like in Japan - what's their incentive?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: kalmia on April 20, 2009, 12:42:50 AM
open immigration ===>> lots of immigrant women + the existing males (enough would be willing) + polyamory = problem solved
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 20, 2009, 12:48:32 AM
open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan) would need to import almost a billion people (http://www.globalaging.org/health/world/overall.htm) (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate) are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: atomiccat on April 20, 2009, 01:40:19 AM

Quote
If human civilization is to survive, human beings must be forced to pull their own economic weight.

By any means necessary.

tell this to the government whom leaches off the production of the people
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: kalmia on April 20, 2009, 01:55:16 AM
open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan) would need to import almost a billion people (http://www.globalaging.org/health/world/overall.htm) (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate) are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.


We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.  There are many that would come if aloud (and possibly funded).  Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.  We could take them, and they would eventually benefit us.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on April 20, 2009, 02:32:53 AM
open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan) would need to import almost a billion people (http://www.globalaging.org/health/world/overall.htm) (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate) are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.


We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.  There are many that would come if aloud (and possibly funded).  Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.  We could take them, and they would eventually benefit us.

I think they could immediately benefit us...  :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: atomiccat on April 20, 2009, 04:01:50 AM
open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan) would need to import almost a billion people (http://www.globalaging.org/health/world/overall.htm) (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate) are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.


We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.  There are many that would come if aloud (and possibly funded).  Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.  We could take them, and they would eventually benefit us.

I think they could immediately benefit us...  :mrgreen:

I'll take a few
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 20, 2009, 06:43:10 AM
Not mute, it is an actionable idea for a Minarchist government program to take away state altruism without taking away its natalist effect (and possibly increase / decrease it depending on current birth rate statistics).  We're talking about a tax that would only apply to individuals who have / adopt less than 2 children, only after a certain age, and only if the national birth rate is too low.  And that tax can be paid to a reputable orphanage / charity of your choice.  Isn't that an improvement over the current system?

Its a slightly smaller injustice than the present injustices.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 20, 2009, 07:22:10 AM
This still doesn't explain why I have an enforcable duty to have kids. It is for the good of the human race that some people reproduce, sure, but (a) why does that mean that that somebody should be me, and (b) I scarcely benefit from that anyway.

(A) I didn't say you have to have kids yourself, I've said you have a moral obligation to contribute to the next generation.  You can pay others to fulfill this obligation for you.

No, you didn't simply say that I had a moral obligation to contribute to the next generation. You said I have an enforceable obligation to contribute to the next generation. I have a moral obligation to save a person drowning in a river when I can, or to protect a person from assault when I can, or to contribute to those who really can't support themselves when I can. But none of these are enforcable obligations, because enforcing them violates moral obligations I hold against others, correlative to rights - rights against theft, rights against forced labour, etc.

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(B) You don't benefit from repaying debts, you've benefited from debts when you acquired them, which in this case was when you were born.

I'm not sure what this relates to. I never said that I benefit from debts, and it is plain that I don't benefit from all debts (if I crash into your car, I gain a debt to you to pay damages, but I don't benefit at all). I said that your argument is that because somebody has provided me with a benefit, life, I have a debt to them. And this is plainly false - merely recieving a benefit from somebody is clearly not sufficient to have any debt to them (as the example of your neighbour having a well maintained yard, or the guy you are crushed against in a crouded subway using deoderant show), nor is it necessary (as the case of the car crash shows.)

Given this, recieving benefits from somebody is utterly irrelevent as to whether I owe them anything, whether I have a debt to them.

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Define "harm."

Damage or injury.  In this context we are talking about an unnatural action that causes damage or injury to the rights of other entity or entities that possess natural rights.  In this case "unnatural" means: contrary to the reality of being prior to your intervention.

Well, it is plain that my neither having kids nor contributing to anybody else doing so does not damage the rights of anybody else. Your person and property remain as intact as ever.

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If I didn't have a shotgun wound in my head and your actions caused me to have one, then you have violated my right to life, even if your shotgun went off by accident.  If a million people didn't have pollution in the water on their property and you put it there, then you've violated their right to property, even if it was through inaction, like failing to re-enforce storage containers containing nuclear waste that deteriorated over time.  Etc.

But failing to have or contribute to others having kids is not like any of those things. Shooting you in the head, accidentally or otherwise, damages your property, i.e. your head. Not having a kid or not contributing to others having kids doesn't. Polluting the water on your property damages your property, or trespasses on it. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others doing so, doesn't. Failing to reinforce containers of nuclear waste allows decomposing atomic molecules to enter your property, or increases the risk of their doing so. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others having kids, doesn't.

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Reproduction is a fundamental part of human nature, and your existence is a consequence of millions of your ancestors who've acted on this nature.  Your unnatural failure to perpetuate this cycle of life causes economic damage that grows over time.  It is comparable to hiding a robot somewhere underground that is programmed to activate sometime in the future, dig itself out, and release a virus or otherwise do light economic damage to a large quantity of people.

No it isn't comparable. The Robot example involves causing economic damage by violating people's property rights. thrity percent of the population deciding to take an extra day's weakened cause economic damage without violating anybody else's property, and so does failure to have kids.

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Only presuming we have a duty to reproduce at a certain rate that can be enforced.

Look at history.  You will see this duty encouraged (and at times violently enforced, but that's really not necessary) through cultural values in Christianity, Confucianism, and other cultures that have stood the test of time.  And you will see the failure to enforce those values in cultures that have collapsed.  The same argument that backs the triumph of capitalism over socialism also backs the triumph of rational natalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalism) - a culture that discourages willful failure to reproduce.

I see a bunch of people who believe we have an enforcable duty to reproduce. I don't see why your telling me that they believed this to be the case is supposed to prove that their belief is correct. Especially when it comes from ridiculous premises such as "a big, all powerful invisible dude said 'go forth and multiply,' so that is why we have a moral duty too."

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But that is precisely what is in question: There is no such duty. It may be charitable of me to reproduce 2.2 times in order to help ensure the survival of the species, but forcing me to violates my ownership of my body, which is an injustice.

Imagine a socialist saying: "Property rights do not exist.  It may be charitable for me to respect your property if I like the way you manage it, but forcing me violates my right to access the same property, which is an injustice."  :roll:

I would simply point out that since his possession of a right to access the property is incompossible with my also having a right to access the property, it is plain that both rights cannot simultaneously exist, and so, if I have a right to access the property, he has no such right, so preventing him does not violate any such right.

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You can't make an effective argument by just stating your opinion, you have to demonstrate the rightness of your argument by objective means, like through a valid experiment.  Unfortunately in our case a complete experiment would have to last hundreds or even thousands of years, so we have to extrapolate from smaller observations, historical examples, and common sense.  You would have to refute the following claims:

  • At this time human beings are still mortal, and new human beings can still only be created through biological reproduction, which requires a particular effort, discomfort, and risk on the part of the mother.  Furthermore, effective transition of newborn infants into adulthood requires a substantial commitment of time and money by someone (i.e. parent or guardian).

True.

Quote
  • Fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate) are declining in all parts of the world, currently averaging 2.61 worldwide but falling quickly.  For now the biggest problem resulting from this is a demographic-economic paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic-economic_paradox) that results in decline of average human IQ rates and other negative consequences.  In the future, it will also result in the decline of the total human population.

Maybe true.

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  • Declining population (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_decline) is causing measurable economic harm in places like Russia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia), the rest of Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Europe), and Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan).  Some of those harms are mitigated through import of goods, services, and immigration of people, but (unless we discover an extraterrestrial civilization) that would not be possible once world population as a whole begins to decline.

Possibly also true.

What is all the above supposed to show?

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If I don't reproduce, on the other hand, nobody's rights are violated.

What about the "suckers" who do reproduce: they spend a huge fraction of their time and money to have children.

So what? How does that mean that I, by choosing not to reproduce, have violated their rights. That's like saying that, because everybody else spends huge fractions of their time and money maintaining their yards, and thereby improving the appearance of, and values of the properties on my street, that if I fail to do likewise, I have somehow violated their rights. They choose to use their time and money that way. I didn't force them, or even ask them to. Same goes for other people having kids.

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The vast majority of people who reproduce in the first world do so out of a sense of obligation that you do not share.

Bollocks, they had kids because they liked the idea of having a family with somebody they loved. Nobody, except members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints sits down and says "I feel I have a duty to reproduce, so let us have no fewer than 2.2 kids, to do our part." People talking about plans for the future (I am reminded of the song in Little Shop of Horrors where they are planning their future) talk about how it would be nice to have kids, maybe a girl and a boy, or two boys and a girl, or something. That is why they do it. responsible people do it because, and when, they can afford to have this thing they think it would be nice to have. Irresponsile people do it because the welfare state makes it easier to afford to do so.

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Most of this ideology is religious and is in decline, along with the birth rates.  And survival of everyone does depend on people continuing to have children.  You were born, and so was everyone you've ever done business with, directly or indirectly.

Willful failure to reproduce is harming the human species as a whole.

Only if enough other people fail to reproduce.

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I know this sounds like an appeal to altruism, but it isn't - altruism is economically harmful, while rational natalism is economically beneficial, perhaps even essential.  I know this sounds like an appeal to collectivism, but collectivism is beneficial in some particular cases, and this is one of them.

I am not an Objectivist, so appeals to altruism do not bother me much.

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It might not be nice for the people who would otherwise have existed that they are not going to now, but then they woon't suffer from that because, hey, they don't exist.

People who don't exist don't have rights.  (Duh!)  I fully support the right of contraception, vasectomy, abortion, etc.  But you are obligated to pull your own weight, economically and biologically.  To live and to refuse to reproduce, expecting others to reproduce for you, is theft!

No it isn't. Forcing them to reproduce is theft, or forced labour. But the only person talking about forcing people to reproduce here is you!

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It is no different than a government "welfare" program that is funded through inflation: everyone experiences economic harm for the benefit of the lazy.[/b]

The wrong of inflation is not that the value of everybody's money goes down, but that everybody is forced to use the inflated currency, and that promises are made for a certain amount of gold that won't be honoured. If somebody inflated a currency nobody had to hold, then people would simply stop trying to hold assets in that currency when they saw its value decline and switch to another one. You do not have a right that people value your property at one price rather than another, so reducing the value of that property of yours which is money doesn't violate your rights.


(Gotta start dinner, will reply to the rest in a little bit.)

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 20, 2009, 07:52:59 AM
You claim that I benefitted from my parent's decision not to reproduce. But I didn't. There is no possible point of comparison: If they didn't, then I wouldn't have existed. How could that be a better or worse alternative? It can't be.

(I'll assume the word "not" I highlighted in red should be ignored.) 

Yes, my mistake. I shall drop this argument, anyway, since I have already established that benefitting is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish a debt to the person providing a benefit.

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Then you say that because I benefitted I incur some sort of a debt. Why? Benefitting somebody does not automatically mean that they owe you something for it.

I'm sorry, but you fail to understand the very nature of human rights.  Hurman beings don't have rights because we want to have rights, human beings have rights because they provide a competitive evolutionary advantage.  Empirical evidence shows that a society that denies all human rights will not evolve past the hunter-gather stage of human civilization.  A society that denies fewer rights has an advantage over a society that denies more rights.  Etc.

This presumes that evolution is a moral goal, that, when asking what would be the right, or good thing for me to do, I should ask what furthers or is inaccordance with human evolution. I can't see why evolution is good in itself, or why it trumps other concerns, especially self-interest. Libertarian rights as being mutually advantageous, as argued for by eg Jan Narveson, does reconcile this.

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I benefit somebody everytime I deoderise before riding a crowded subway train.  [...]

Is your body odor strong enough to kill, or cause the decline of human civilization?

Ah, so now it is not that I have beneffited from other's choice to bring me into existence that creates this supposed debt, but that I have benefitted in a certain way or to a certain degree?

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And that brings us on to the third point, you say that I should pass this debt on to the third generation. Why? In what way is my having kids a payment of the debt I supposedly owe my parents for their giving birth to me?

Your debt is not from your parents to your children, it is to the human civilization as a whole.  Especially the guy you see driving a minivan full of noisy kids.  You owe him.

Why? I didn't make him have kids, or even ask him to. He chose to.

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And if you don't pay him, pretty soon guys like him will stop having kids, eventually leading to the world populated entirely by old people fighting over insufficient resources they don't have the manpower to renew.

Nonsense. I am aware that welfare queens may have kids only because people are paying them to, but I doubt that most people do this, and, besides, it has created children that are unsustainable, anyway. Most people have kids because they want to have kids, not because somebody is paying them to.

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Is what not a crime? Causing a negative economic effect? Or infecting people with a virus? Infecting unconsenting people with a virus is the crime. Causing a negative economic effect is not.

What's the difference?  (And note that I'm not talking about causing an economic collapse by publishing some information that will cause a panic, that only exposes the weaknesses and errors already inherent in some forms of speculative investment.)

The difference is that in one case a negative economic effect was caused by violating rights, whilst in the other case a negative economic effect was not cause by violating rights, but by excercising or choosing not to excercise one's own rights.

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Sometimes it is possible to cause harm through inaction, like in the "decaying container with nuclear waste" example I've mentioned previously.  Reproduction is a unique duty that must be required or at least encouraged from all, without it civilization collapses.

Right, but as I said, a decaying nuclear container doesn't just threat harm, it threatens, or involves, rights violations. Thats why I said a better analogy to failure to reproduce would be if, say, forty percent of the working population decided they would take a pay cut in exchange for an extra day holiday. Productivity would decline, prices would go up (or fall less quickly) for everybody, savings would fall, so the capital base decline, whether or not they were part of that forty percent. But choosing not to work X number of days a week is not a violation of rights. It has caused economic damage, but it has not done so by violating rights. And, in this case, preventing economic harm would require forcing that forty percent of the working population to work a day more than they want to. Forced labour is a violation of rights.

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[...] So a better analogy would be this: If fifty million Americans decide that they would be happy to take a pay cut in exchange for an extra day's weekend, the result would be similar to what you are warning about reproduction: A negative economic impact on everybody. Now your argument is that these people should be punished in such a way as to give them an incentive to lose that extra day's weekend and work. But this amounts to forced labour and is a violation of forced labour.

No, your example doesn't compare.  There is a direct incentive for people to work, and it is their right to quit working entirely and beg for bread and water if they so choose, but they don't have a right to force others to feed them.  Failure to pull your own economic weight and forcing others to do it for you is called theft, but how is failure to pull your biological weight any different?  It isn't.

Because "failure to pull your biological weight" doesn't involve forcing others to do so. Somebody who chooses not to have kids is not forcing other people to do so.

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Assuming that people only have rights insofar as they contribute to human evolution. But that is not a very sound basis for rights.

It is THE basis for rights.  Sometimes it is expressed through other words, like God or Nature, but it's really the same thing.

I can't see why people should only have rights if their having that right contributes to human evolution, sorry.

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That's fine. Just don't encourage the use of violence and agression against peaceful people who refuse to do likewise.

I said a Minarchist would advocate this as a coercive tax, and it would be an improvement over the current system that is at least intended to have a similar effect (i.e. free schools, child tax credit, etc).  I'm both a Minarchist and an AnCap - the former is a stable version that can be used now, the latter is a beta-testing version with new features but not yet ready for general use.  In the meantime, why let "great" be the enemy of "good"?

Because you are not advocating a means to provide particular services the state supplies, and which we would want it to continue providing in a transition to anarcho-capitalism. You are advocating a means of forcing people to either have kids or provide for other people to have kids. There are plenty of other ways to get the "good."
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 20, 2009, 07:58:27 AM
Your inability to support the foundational claim of your argument is not my problem.

I did.  Which of my points do you challenge?


[...] I'm done talking to you about this stupid topic.

It's not a "stupid topic", it is a powerful argument that conservatives / minarchists make in defense of the state.  If everyone had as many children as Ayn Rand or Ian Freeman (presuming he doesn't rewire his plumbing back the way it was, etc) - the human race would go extinct in one generation, and its last years on earth would not be very comfortable. 

But the idea that everybody will have as many kids as Rand or Ian is not remotely plausible.

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Someone has to breed, and breed enough to prevent economic collapse like in Japan - what's their incentive?

That somebody has to breed for the human race to continue is not what is being denied. What is being denied as that this gives anybody a right to take my property off me if I choose not to breed, or contribute to those breeding.

And, the incentive is the same incentive anybody who has kids has. Hardly anybody has kids just because they are being paid to. Even welfare queens. They just cross out a few "cons" from the "pro/con" comparisons when deciding to have kids.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 20, 2009, 08:37:37 AM
We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.

Ignoratio elenchi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignoratio_elenchi).  Climbing to the very top of Titanic will not keep you from sinking, at best it may delay the inevitable.

(An unrelated factoid: the birth rate in New Hampshire (http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_bir_rat_per_100-birth-rate-per-1-000) is currently 3rd lowest in the nation, ahead only of Maine and Vermont.)


Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.

I'm a very big fan of South Asian girls, but it takes at very least $10,000 a year to raise a child (including education).  I don't think this problem can be solved by a few rich guys taking on some third world wives.


Its a slightly smaller injustice than the present injustices.

Thank you for supporting my idea!  That is the greatest compliment any collectivist action ever deserved!   :D


[...]  You said I have an enforceable obligation to contribute to the next generation.  [...]

That's the difference between transitional Minarchism and perfect Anarcho-Capitalism.  The former is an improvement on the current system and presents ideas that can be applied today.  The latter is an unproven theory that I like but in reality we are very far away from.  You have to crawl before you can walk before you can run.  (Yes, I'm trying to "have my cake and eat it too" by jumping between Minarchism and AnCap arguments, but in this case I can - deal with it.)

And, once again, you're making arguments about rights while ignoring the nature of rights.  Those arguments are irrelevant.  The survival of the species comes first.

(I gotta go - will finish replying later.)
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 20, 2009, 08:55:47 AM
Its a slightly smaller injustice than the present injustices.

Thank you for supporting my idea!  That is the greatest compliment any collectivist action ever deserved!   :D

[...]  You said I have an enforceable obligation to contribute to the next generation.  [...]

That's the difference between transitional Minarchism and perfect Anarcho-Capitalism.  The former is an improvement on the current system and presents ideas that can be applied today.  The latter is an unproven theory that I like but in reality we are very far away from.  You have to crawl before you can walk before you can run.  (Yes, I'm trying to "have my cake and eat it too" by jumping between Minarchism and AnCap arguments, but in this case I can - deal with it.)

Well, I suspect that a voucher system may be a good transitional method between full state schooling and free-market schooling, but that doesn't mean that I am going to argue that justice requires that people pay taxes to fund the school vouchers.

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And, once again, you're making arguments about rights while ignoring the nature of rights.  Those arguments are irrelevant.  The survival of the species comes first.

(I gotta go - will finish replying later.)

I'm not sure that mere survival is normatively attractive. What is great about merely surviving? The reason to live cannot be to live.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: NHArticleTen on April 20, 2009, 10:26:50 AM

...

I'm a very big fan of South Asian girls, but it takes at very least $10,000 a year to raise a child (including education).  I don't think this problem can be solved by a few rich guys taking on some third world wives.

...


substantiate your claim without using ANY gooberment lies...

fail

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: davann on April 20, 2009, 10:53:59 AM
I see what Alex is pushing for here. He wants a larger population of children to chose to abuse from. Maybe, just maybe with all these new children running around he can find that magical one that does not mind the abuse.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: atomiccat on April 20, 2009, 01:27:36 PM
I see what Alex is pushing for here. He wants a larger population of children to chose to abuse from. Maybe, just maybe with all these new children running around he can find that magical one that does not mind the abuse.

This, everyone else seems to be against his eugenics/ Invisible Social contract
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 20, 2009, 01:36:38 PM
[...] I said that your argument is that because somebody has provided me with a benefit, life, I have a debt to them. [...]

This would have been relevant if I had advocated the parents' right to force their child to work for their benefit, and even to "tax" their children's income well into adulthood.  That would be a less collectivist remedy to the population crisis, but still coercive (even more so, since you don't choose your parents) and probably far less effective.  One of the reasons why I'm not making that argument is because having children would still not be an objective benefit and not always make sense financially even if they are a financial asset - it's not a business venture, it is an obligation.


Well, it is plain that my neither having kids nor contributing to anybody else doing so does not damage the rights of anybody else. Your person and property remain as intact as ever.

No, I am injured through your inaction, and so is every member of the human race.  If you have a right not to reproduce (and to not pay for others who must pull your demographic weight for you), so does everyone else - then civilization fails.

Your concept of rights exists in the context of human civilization, which cannot exist without sufficient reproduction - rights have no validity outside that context.  Your willful failure to pull your demographic weight (and fulfill your natural biological imperative) constitutes a crime.


[...] Failing to reinforce containers of nuclear waste allows decomposing atomic molecules to enter your property, or increases the risk of their doing so. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others having kids, doesn't.

You don't have the right to damage the property of others through inaction, thus you have an obligation to take action to prevent that.  If you fail in this obligation, and I have evidence that something on your property will very likely go boom and cause damage to my property, even possibly kill me, your rights to your property must yield.  Your failure to have kids is exactly the same.


Thrity percent of the population deciding to take an extra day's weakened cause economic damage without violating anybody else's property, and so does failure to have kids.

Even if 90% of the population decides to only work 1 day per week, it does not constitute a threat to human civilization.  There will be severe economic decline, sure, but the natural system of incentives remains in place - the lazy will suffer from their refusal to work, the 10% that continues to work will come out on top, and this stupidity will eventually be phased out as more and more people see the wisdom of working more.  A planetary decline in birth rates, like is already happening in Japan, does in fact constitute a clear and imminent global threat, necessitating use of violence to stop it.

Fruits of your labor are your absolute property, which gives you the freedom to create or not create them as you see fit.  Your children are not your absolute property, they are a "white elephant" that requires a lot of effort for little objective gain.  Throughout the history of the human species, either ignorance or coercion has played a role in encouraging people to reproduce.  When that ignorance and coercion is reduced just a little bit (i.e. modern Japan, which still has lots of traditionalists and even Christian converts with large families), you end up with a demographic collapse.  People in Japan aren't stupid, they believe that other people should be having more babies - just not specifically them.


I see a bunch of people who believe we have an enforcable duty to reproduce. I don't see why your telling me that they believed this to be the case is supposed to prove that their belief is correct.

Because that belief is a necessity for survival.  If all irrational and coercive pressures went away, what would human fertility be like?  Less than in Japan or Singapore, clearly, because that pressure is still very strong there.  We're talking about less than 0.5 children per living person.  (Comparable to Ian & Julia not having kids, and Mark and his wife stopping at one.)  The population pyramid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_pyramid) in that scenario is terrifying: more people over 70 than under 50!

Robots can't do everything.  Productivity will decline.  Prices will skyrocket, as will crime.  Richer but older nations will not be able to defend themselves militarily from poorer but younger nations.  Old people who can no longer afford to buy medication or even food will demand a government solution, but there will simply be no one left to tax.


Especially when it comes from ridiculous premises such as "a big, all powerful invisible dude said 'go forth and multiply,' so that is why we have a moral duty too."

That fiction is what kept the human civilization reproducing up till now, and now that big powerful dude will have to be me, acting in my own enlightened self-interest, and others who also understand the economic reality of human existance.  I'm not going to watch my civilization decline and not do what is necessary to stop it, even if it does require institutionalized violence on a massive scale.  

If I was on a life-board in the middle of an ocean, and one of the other people on that boat was hysterical and trying to flip the boat over, I would deprive that person of his rights by force in the interest of my own survival.  If that boat had leaks in it and our mutual survival depended on everyone holding those leaks closed and pumping the water out to keep the boat afloat, and the hysterical person refused to help - I would hit that person with a stick or use whatever means necessery to get that person to cooperate.  Taxing people to ensure adequate birthrates is no different.  I just need a big-enough stick - and that's one of the very few things for which government may still be useful.


[...]  Maybe true.

[...]  Possibly also true.

Why "maybe" / "possibly"?  Do you disagree with the cause-and-effect relationship of declining birth rates and the consequences I've mentioned, or do you believe that birth rates will correct themselves without coercion?  If the former, please explain why.  If the latter - I too wish that was possible, but how?

Drastic reversal of those kinds of trends don't happen just by themselves randomly.  If you have a particular theory on what would reverse them, I would gladly agree that the need for coercion is not justified based on the merits of that theory.   Coercion should only be used as a last resort.


What is all the above supposed to show?

Justified use of force.


[...] I didn't force them, or even ask them to. Same goes for other people having kids.

You're still thinking in terms of negative rights.  This is an issue of positive rights, which require an obligation of others.  Just because 99% of positive rights you hear about are socialist bullshit doesn't mean the other 1% is not valid and essential.  They are based on the same rational foundation as the negative right of self-ownership (life, liberty, property).

For example, you didn't ask for my plane to malfunction and crash on your property, but it was an accident.  You have an obligation to facilitate my right to free exit, even if that infringes on your right to your property for a little while.  Failure to do so would constitute wrongful imprisonment.  Air travel would be downright impossible if making an emergency landing or parachuting meant you could become the slave of whoever owns the property you land on.

You didn't ask some retard to rob a convenience store, killing the clerk and leaving you as the only witness, yet you have an obligation to appear at his trial, which would probably take up quite a bit of your time.  Without the ability to subpoena (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/subpoena) people to court, coercively if necessary, no justice system would be possible, even one that is decentralized and entirely based on fundamental natural rights.

In those two examples, your negative rights are violated "for the greater good".  Just because this concept is most often used erroneously by altruists doesn't mean it does not exist.  The same applies to coercive incentives for reproduction.


Bollocks, they had kids because they liked the idea of having a family with somebody they loved.

People's motivations to have children are complicated and affected by their subconscious, so we can never know for sure what fraction recognize it as an obligation, but some do.  More people will recognize this fact if more people study basic population economics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_economics), and if they also study game theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory) they will see the need for coersion to get people to reproduce, and if they also study philosophy they will see that it is moral to do so.

You want the cost of raising children to be individual, but the economic benefit to be shared, as it naturally is - that's theft.  Having children is the only economic activity this applies to: you may be able to avoid other shared economic benefits by living in isolation, but the only way to stop benefiting from the fact that you were born into the human race is suicide.


No it isn't. Forcing them to reproduce is theft, or forced labour.

Like I already said, your failure to recognize the obligation to reproduce is no different from failure to recognize property rights.  Imagine that you suffer some sort of an accident that requires you to pay $20,000 a year in medical bills: is someone else obligated to pay those bills for you?  It wasn't your choice to suffer this accident, but it is a reality you have to deal with in order to live.  Same is the reality of human reproduction.  You are a human being.  You were born.  You are naturally indebted to reproduce.  If you willfully refuse then everybody suffers, same as if you were forcing them to pay for you medical bills through inflation or taxes.


The wrong of inflation is not that the value of everybody's money goes down, but that everybody is forced to use the inflated currency  [...]

Force can be natural or artificial.  You are a part of the human race.  Is that force?  
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 20, 2009, 02:53:00 PM
[...] I said that your argument is that because somebody has provided me with a benefit, life, I have a debt to them. [...]

This would have been relevant if I had advocated the parents' right to force their child to work for their benefit, and even to "tax" their children's income well into adulthood.  That would be a less collectivist remedy to the population crisis, but still coercive (even more so, since you don't choose your parents) and probably far less effective.  One of the reasons why I'm not making that argument is because having children would still not be an objective benefit and not always make sense financially even if they are a financial asset - it's not a business venture, it is an obligation.


Well, it is plain that my neither having kids nor contributing to anybody else doing so does not damage the rights of anybody else. Your person and property remain as intact as ever.

No, I am injured through your inaction, and so is every member of the human race.  If you have a right not to reproduce (and to not pay for others who must pull your demographic weight for you), so does everyone else - then civilization fails.

Firstly, civilisation would only fail if everybody exercises this right. But that is not plausible.

Secondly, whether or not you are injured by my inaction is irrelevent: You have no right to my action, because you don't own me, I do. You would be harmed by my, and other people's inaction, if a sufficient number of people took an extra day's weekend. But that doesn't mean that taking an extra day's weekend is a crime, or a rights violation, because you have no right that people work when they have not agreed to.

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Your concept of rights exists in the context of human civilization, which cannot exist without sufficient reproduction - rights have no validity outside that context.  Your willful failure to pull your demographic weight (and fulfill your natural biological imperative) constitutes a crime.

Rights don't only in the context of civilisation. One caveman raping a woman from a different tribe is still violating her rights.

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[...] Failing to reinforce containers of nuclear waste allows decomposing atomic molecules to enter your property, or increases the risk of their doing so. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others having kids, doesn't.

You don't have the right to damage the property of others through inaction, thus you have an obligation to take action to prevent that.  If you fail in this obligation, and I have evidence that something on your property will very likely go boom and cause damage to my property, even possibly kill me, your rights to your property must yield.  Your failure to have kids is exactly the same.

How is failure to have kids the same?

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Thrity percent of the population deciding to take an extra day's wekened cause economic damage without violating anybody else's property, and so does failure to have kids.

Even if 90% of the population decides to only work 1 day per week, it does not constitute a threat to human civilization.  There will be severe economic decline, sure, but the natural system of incentives remains in place - the lazy will suffer from their refusal to work, the 10% that continues to work will come out on top, and this stupidity will eventually be phased out as more and more people see the wisdom of working more.  A planetary decline in birth rates, like is already happening in Japan, does in fact constitute a clear and imminent global threat, necessitating use of violence to stop it.

Again, the difference simply seems to be one of degree, so the implication of your argument still seems to be that it would be OK to force people to work more than one day a week if their failure to do so causes economic decline.

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I see a bunch of people who believe we have an enforcable duty to reproduce. I don't see why your telling me that they believed this to be the case is supposed to prove that their belief is correct.

Because that belief is a necessity for survival.  If all irrational and coercive pressures went away, what would human fertility be like?  Less than in Japan or Singapore, clearly, because that pressure is still very strong there.  We're talking about less than 0.5 children per living person.  (Comparable to Ian & Julia not having kids, and Mark and his wife stopping at one.)  The population pyramid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_pyramid) in that scenario is terrifying: more people over 70 than under 50!

Food production is necessary for survival. Self-owners may well decide not to produce any more food. Civilisation would collapse, and humanity die out. Does that mean that it would be OK to force people to work on plantations?

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Robots can't do everything.  Productivity will decline.  Prices will skyrocket, as will crime.  Richer but older nations will not be able to defend themselves militarily from poorer but younger nations.  Old people who can no longer afford to buy medication or even food will demand a government solution, but there will simply be no one left to tax.

Yes, all these terrible things could happen. But that still doesn't alter the fact that forcing people to have kids, or provide for those that are having them, is a violation of their rights.

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[...]  Maybe true.

[...]  Possibly also true.

Why "maybe" / "possibly"?  Do you disagree with the cause-and-effect relationship of declining birth rates and the consequences I've mentioned,

No, thats why I said "maybe," and "possibly" rather than "no."

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or do you believe that birth rates will correct themselves without coercion?  If the former, please explain why.  If the latter - I too wish that was possible, but how?

By people deciding to have kids.

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Drastic reversal of those kinds of trends don't happen just by themselves randomly.  If you have a particular theory on what would reverse them, I would gladly agree that the need for coercion is not justified based on the merits of that theory.   Coercion should only be used as a last resort.

People have kids now without having to be coerced into it.

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What is all the above supposed to show?

Justified use of force.

It doesn't at all explain why it is justified.

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[...] I didn't force them, or even ask them to. Same goes for other people having kids.

You're still thinking in terms of negative rights.  This is an issue of positive rights, which require an obligation of others.  Just because 99% of positive rights you hear about are socialist bullshit doesn't mean the other 1% is not valid and essential.  They are based on the same rational foundation as the negative right of self-ownership (life, liberty, property).

There are no positive rights. They are inherently contradictory, generating incompossibility problems, both with negative rights, and with each other. They also can only exist at a given time and under given circumstances, and so cannot be considered human rights, as they cannot exist at all times and places that humans can exist.

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For example, you didn't ask for my plane to malfunction and crash on your property, but it was an accident.  You have an obligation to facilitate my right to free exit, even if that infringes on your right to your property for a little while.

The presence of an obligation to do so does not imply that there is a right that that obligation correlates to.

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Failure to do so would constitute wrongful imprisonment.

No. Actively preventing you from leaving would constitute false imprisonment. Failure to help you leave wouldn't.

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Air travel would be downright impossible if making an emergency landing or parachuting meant you could become the slave of whoever owns the property you land on.

You didn't ask some retard to rob a convenience store, killing the clerk and leaving you as the only witness, yet you have an obligation to appear at his trial,

I certainly do not. Forcing me to do so would be forced labour.

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which would probably take up quite a bit of your time.  Without the ability to subpoena (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/subpoena) people to court, coercively if necessary, no justice system would be possible,

It is certainly logically possible. I'm sure you meant probable.

Regardless, witnesses even today don't have to testify. And even if they turn up, aren't obliged to take the oath, and are entitled to exercise their miranda rights and remain silent.

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even one that is decentralized and entirely based on fundamental natural rights.

A legal system that forces people to turn up in court is not based on fundamental natural rights, but on violating them. You will find precisely this issue discussed in Rothbard's For a New Liberty.

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Bollocks, they had kids because they liked the idea of having a family with somebody they loved.

People's motivations to have children are complicated and affected by their subconscious, so we can never know for sure what fraction recognize it as an obligation, but some do.  More people will recognize this fact if more people study basic population economics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_economics), and if they also study game theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory) they will see the need for coersion to get people to reproduce, and if they also study philosophy they will see that it is moral to do so.

Game theory doesn't come into it. You are suggesting that this is like a free rider problem, because having kids is a public good. But the production of just about any good has positive externalities, many of which are non-rivalrous. Moreover, not all public goods involve public goods problems, since they are not all free rider problems. Many a chicken games rather than prisoner dilemma games, under which the costs of being a victim of free-riders is much less than the cost of nobody co-operating, so mutual defection will be less common than under a prisoners dilemma. Some are assurance games, when the costs of co-operating are vastly lower than the benefits. For instance - actually, I don't know if you have them in the US - but in the UK we have pelican crossings, where pressing a button sets off a timer at the end of which the lights will change colour and allowing pedestrians to cross. Anyway, if there is a crowd of people at the crossing, they all benefit if somebody presses the button, and pressing the button means going out of one's way, over to the light post, and pushing it. But free-riding doesn't happen, since it doesn't cost that much to go over and press the button.

The same can be said of having kids, but in this case it is the benefit: The benefit of free-riding from other people's reproduction is so insignificant that nobody is going to do it. I mean, how much to you gain from somebody 3,000 miles away dropping a sprog?

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You want the cost of raising children to be individual, but the economic benefit to be shared, as it naturally is - that's theft.

No it isn't. Are you seriously saying that benefitting from other people's spending without spending yourself is theft? So that, if you enjoy the sight of a well maintained yard, and your neighbour spend on maintaining his yard, but you don't pay him for doing so, you are stealing from him?

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Having children is the only economic activity this applies to: you may be able to avoid other shared economic benefits by living in isolation, but the only way to stop benefiting from the fact that you were born into the human race is suicide.

Benefitting from people is not sufficient to claim that you have stolen from them.

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No it isn't. Forcing them to reproduce is theft, or forced labour.

Like I already said, your failure to recognize the obligation to reproduce is no different from failure to recognize property rights.  Imagine that you suffer some sort of an accident that requires you to pay $20,000 a year in medical bills: is someone else obligated to pay those bills for you?

Possibly. Charity is a virtue. Helping those in need who can't support themselves is a good thing.

I just don't have a right that they help me. Which is the same as saying that none of their obligations to pay my bills correlates to a right.

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It wasn't your choice to suffer this accident, but it is a reality you have to deal with in order to live.  Same is the reality of human reproduction.  You are a human being.  You were born.  You are naturally indebted to reproduce.

I have no such debt.

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If you willfully refuse then everybody suffers, same as if you were forcing them to pay for you medical bills through inflation or taxes.

It is not just the same as if I forced everybody to pay my bills. If I (and sufficient others) do not reproduce, everybody suffers. But this suffering is not cause by our violating rights, any more than the suffering that everybody experiences when forty percent of the population decides to only work one day a week is a result of a violation of rights.

Put simply: Not all suffering is a result of a violation of rights, and some of it can be cause by the exercising of rights. Your arguments almost appear to be saying that we cannot have rights whose exercising would harm others or cause suffering.

Quote
Quote
The wrong of inflation is not that the value of everybody's money goes down, but that everybody is forced to use the inflated currency  [...]

Force can be natural or artificial.  You are a part of the human race.  Is that force?  

Huh?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 20, 2009, 04:01:38 PM
[...]  I shall drop this argument, anyway, since I have already established that benefitting is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish a debt to the person providing a benefit.

That isn't the core of my argument, just a side-argument showing some of the consequences of this paradox.  The matter of human reproduction is different from all other economic action.  We're not debating whether a bum can wash your windshield at a red light without your consent and then expect you to pay him - he's clearly wrong.  Nor are we debating whether Superman can send Lois Lane a bill for saving her - he has no natural obligation to go around saving people, and no right to assume their consent to be saved.  But human beings do have the natural imperative to reproduce - that is an empirical fact.  We wouldn't be here if we didn't.


This presumes that evolution is a moral goal, that, when asking what would be the right, or good thing for me to do, I should ask what furthers or is inaccordance with human evolution. I can't see why evolution is good in itself, or why it trumps other concerns, especially self-interest. Libertarian rights as being mutually advantageous, as argued for by eg Jan Narveson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Narveson), does reconcile this.

Your failure to understand evolution is very significant, because it is the basis of all other aspects of human experience.  Without basing our philosophy on evolution, we are reduced to to nihilism or blind faith.  From evolution we derive the logical foundation that later leads to higher-level concepts such as individual rights on the basis of them being a competitive advantage.  Or did you think rights came from pixie dust and wishful thinking?


Ah, so now it is not that I have beneffited from other's choice to bring me into existence that creates this supposed debt, but that I have benefitted in a certain way or to a certain degree?

Yes, once again: your own survival constitutes a moral imperative to use force.  The survival of human civilization constitutes the moral imperative to use force on a broad scale, like this "childless tax", which we sort of already have.  A minor inconvenience like someone's body odor does not constitutes a moral imperative to use force.


Quote
Your debt is not from your parents to your children, it is to the human civilization as a whole.  Especially the guy you see driving a minivan full of noisy kids.  You owe him.
Why? I didn't make him have kids, or even ask him to. He chose to.

OK, that was a side-argument again - couldn't resist.  In fact, I still can't.  Let's have a moment of silence for the sucker in a minivan full of kids ... ... ... ...  :|  ... ... ...

Now, yes, he chose to have kids, and we cannot know for sure to what degree coercion played a role in his decision.  The reality is that people are choosing to have fewer and fewer kids - which is a problem that threatens the Anarcho-Capitalist argument that all government action is undesirable.  You cannot force people to think, but you can force them to breed, which is what coercive institutions have been doing since the dawn of recorded history.  To remain an Anarcho-Capitalist in spite of that fatal flaw is to advocate economic collapse and all other horrors of a severe demographic crisis.


Nonsense. I am aware that welfare queens may have kids only because people are paying them to, but I doubt that most people do this, and, besides, it has created children that are unsustainable, anyway.  Most people have kids because they want to have kids, not because somebody is paying them to.

Financial factors do enter into the decision, and the government does redistribute wealth from non-breeders to breeders.  Religion is probably the greatest factor encouraging people to breed, but throughout history it has been kept in place through coercion and is now running on fumes - thus the falling birthrates.  In a secular government-free society, the birth rates would fall even faster, and the economic consequences would be more detrimental.


The difference is that in one case a negative economic effect was caused by violating rights, whilst in the other case a negative economic effect was not cause by violating rights, but by excercising or choosing not to excercise one's own rights.

You're making a circular argument about rights again.  Think about it.

"Where does your right not to reproduce come from?  Self-ownership.  Where does your right to self-ownership come from?  Human nature.  Where does human nature come from?  Evolution.  Where does evolution come from?  Perpetuation of life through variation and natural selection.  Where does the perpetuation of human life come from?  Reproduction.  Oops."


Because "failure to pull your biological weight" doesn't involve forcing others to do so. Somebody who chooses not to have kids is not forcing other people to do so.

Well, the hysterical lunatic on my life boat isn't forcing us to do anything, but his willful inaction will kill us all unless the rest of us force him.  In fact some other people on the boat are saying, "why should we work if he doesn't have to?"  If we use force, we survive.  If we don't, we all die.


I can't see why people should only have rights if their having that right contributes to human evolution, sorry.

All natural rights are ultimately based on evolution and nothing else.  I'm sorry if your beliefs failed to recognize that fact, but there is no other objective arbiter in the universe (at least there doesn't seem to be any evidence for one at this time).  There is no good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral - there are just consequences of your actions, which can be individual or collective.  And the consequence of your failure to reproduce is declining birth rates, which is measurably very bad.

Natural rights are not a matter of opinion, they are a natural force, like gravity.  You can't have an argument with a rock that is about to fall on your head, crushing you.  You can't beg or trick that rock to stop falling, you have to counter the force that propels it, deflect its vector away from you, or get your ass out of the way.


Because you are not advocating a means to provide particular services the state supplies, and which we would want it to continue providing in a transition to anarcho-capitalism. You are advocating a means of forcing people to either have kids or provide for other people to have kids. There are plenty of other ways to get the "good."

I've previously mentioned a number of reasons why birth rates should increase (or decelerate their descent) as a society transitions toward Anarcho-Capitalism: polygamy, parents' rights, absence of anti-growth socialist stupidity, and so on.  I have also stated that I for one hold reproduction as a moral value and voluntarily donate my time and money for this purpose, which includes educating others about the negative consequences of low birth rates.  Etc.  If you have other ideas for how to encourage sufficient birth rates without coercion, I'm all ears.

Anarcho-Capitalism is a nice theory.  I love it.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out.

In the meantime, however, minarchist coercion is justified.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: kalmia on April 20, 2009, 04:07:02 PM
open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan) would need to import almost a billion people (http://www.globalaging.org/health/world/overall.htm) (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate) are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.


We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.  There are many that would come if aloud (and possibly funded).  Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.  We could take them, and they would eventually benefit us.

I think they could immediately benefit us...  :mrgreen:

I agree. But I mean eventually in terms of baby making, the topic of this thread.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: kalmia on April 20, 2009, 04:15:48 PM


...

I'm a very big fan of South Asian girls, but it takes at very least $10,000 a year to raise a child (including education).  I don't think this problem can be solved by a few rich guys taking on some third world wives.

...



I'm sure we could manage to do it for far less.  Many of them make far less than this where they are.  They would help us make do. 

I'm suggesting poorer countries because many of us don't have a lot as it is and it would be more workable.

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 20, 2009, 05:05:02 PM
But the idea that everybody will have as many kids as Rand or Ian is not remotely plausible.

We agree the collapse of the human population to 0 in one generation isn't remotely plausible, but negative birth rates are a crisis in of themselves.


That somebody has to breed for the human race to continue is not what is being denied. What is being denied as that this gives anybody a right to take my property off me if I choose not to breed, or contribute to those breeding.

Right shmight.  You already have a coercive entity called "the government" violating your right to life, liberty, and property.  What I am saying is that some small fraction of what that coercive entity does is beneficial.  Not moral, not "a good idea", but nonetheless factually beneficial to that society's long-term economic growth.  In this thread I propose a way to accomplish the same thing without centralization and with far less waste.  Looks like I have to tell my "benefits of gradualism" parable again...

Imagine two nearly-identical countries starting off with similar levels of government tyranny and economic development as the United States, but taking two very different approaches to libertarian reform.



Which is the better scenario?

Well, I suspect that a voucher system may be a good transitional method between full state schooling and free-market schooling, but that doesn't mean that I am going to argue that justice requires that people pay taxes to fund the school vouchers.

There are more costs associated with children than just education.  Pregnancy and the birth itself is a tremendous effort and risk, which has many medical expenses associated with it.  Then kids need lots of on-going doctor visits.  And food.  And clothing.  And other baby stuff.  And living space - in fact a bigger house with a large backyard would be nice.  And toys.  And more toys.  And a babysitter.  And a computer.  And braces.  And then there's the risk that Tommy will trip Jimmy in the playground, causing Jimmy's mommy to sue Tommy's mommy.  And somebody needs to spend the time cooking, cleaning, parenting, teaching, etc, etc, etc.  And eventually you have to teach them to drive.  ...  ...  ...  Did I mention that suicide was a possibility?


I'm not sure that mere survival is normatively attractive.  What is great about merely surviving? The reason to live cannot be to live.

Beats the alternative.  Survival is prerequisite for everything else, good or bad, moral or immoral.


[...] it takes at very least $10,000 a year to raise a child (including education) [...]
substantiate your claim without using ANY gooberment lies...

Yes, the government actually spends more than that per pupil just for crappy public schooling alone!  What the costs would be like in a freer market, without public schools, semi-socialist health-care, and so on is anybody's guess.  The exact amount is irrelevant, the bottom line is that kids aren't cheap. 


I see what Alex is pushing for here. He wants a larger population of children to chose to abuse from. Maybe, just maybe with all these new children running around he can find that magical one that does not mind the abuse.

Once again - I am not a pedophile, I'm a libertarian.  Your failure to see the difference is your own.  You get a free pass with me, but you should be careful - some people would sue you for libel and win.  Or reciprocate by spreading rumors about you.  Which some people do more effectively than others.


everyone else seems to be against his eugenics / Invisible Social contract

This isn't a democracy.  And I'm not advocating eugenics.  Nor is the "social contract" my philosophy recognizes "invisible", it is based on empirical science and is mostly expressed through the principle of self-ownership.  I'm still an Anarcho-Capitalist, I just don't suffer from blind faith nor from any delusions about its practical flaws.  This thread highlights one of them.


(I'll come back to this thread and finish replying... eventually...)
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 22, 2009, 07:01:12 PM
Statistics before the "economic crisis" showed USA sitting on the very fence between neutral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate#Replacement_rates) and negative fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-replacement_fertility), and now a negative feedback cycle is about to kick in...

From Reuters via Yahoo News -- Recession linked to more abortions, vasectomies (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090422/hl_nm/us_usa_economy_births) --

Quote
The pregnancy was unexpected, and for one 32-year-old single mother in Syracuse, New York, the ailing economy became a factor in her decision to have an abortion.

"More so now that we are in a recession ... I felt I had to go through with the procedure because I cannot afford another child," said the woman, a registered nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity.

With a recession on, she was worried about job security.

"People say, 'You're a nurse, you'll always have a job.' I think it's not as true as people think it is."

The recession may be a factor influencing more Americans to opt out of parenthood with abortions and vasectomies, although there is no data available yet to suggest a trend.

Even so, there is some anecdotal evidence that would-be parents are factoring the rough economic times into the most personal of reproductive choices, some experts said.

In 2005, the last year for which data is available, the U.S. abortion rate fell to the lowest level since 1974, according to the Guttmacher Institute in New York, a nonprofit group focusing on reproductive issues.

But at the National Abortion Federation, a hotline for women seeking abortion information has been "ringing off the hook," according to the group's president, Vicki Saporta.

"We are currently getting more calls from women who report that they or their partner have recently lost their job, and we are also hearing from more women facing eviction," she said.

One recent inquiry came from a 24-year-old married woman in Colorado who was evicted after her landlord went into foreclosure. Another came from a 32-year-old pregnant mother in Virginia who had lost her job and health insurance.

"As more and more women and families are struggling due to the crisis, it's affecting more than just low-income families. Now more middle-class and working class families are facing the types problems that we've heard from low-income women," Saporta said.

As with many other nonprofits, abortion assistance groups are being inundated with requests for aid just as funding is drying up.

In the first quarter of 2009, the New York Abortion Access Fund increased funding for abortions 60 percent from year-ago levels, and the number of women receiving assistance more than doubled.


The reach of the recession may stretch beyond women's reproductive decisions to those of men.

Lawrence Ross, a urologist and former president of the American Urological Association, said he and his colleagues have noticed a roughly 50 percent increase in vasectomies in the past four to six months, which he attributes in part to the ailing economy.

About half a million men opt for vasectomies in the United States each year, a number which has remained flat over the years, Ross said.

"Many of them are afraid that they are going to lose their jobs and their health insurance. So while they are covered, a lot more patients, it pushed them over the edge to get it done more quickly," he said.

"A lot of them are saying that we've decided to limit our family, the costs of education and raising kids is so high."

At the same time, urologists have seen a drop in the number of men seeking vasectomy reversals.

While a vasectomy is a relatively simple procedure and typically costs between $1,000 to $1,500, a reversal costs roughly ten times as much.

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: davann on April 22, 2009, 07:21:34 PM
Statistics before the "economic crisis" showed USA sitting on the very fence between neutral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate#Replacement_rates) and negative fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-replacement_fertility), and now a negative feedback cycle is about to kick in...

From Reuters via Yahoo News -- Recession linked to more abortions, vasectomies (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090422/hl_nm/us_usa_economy_births) --

Quote
The pregnancy was unexpected, and for one 32-year-old single mother in Syracuse, New York, the ailing economy became a factor in her decision to have an abortion.

"More so now that we are in a recession ... I felt I had to go through with the procedure because I cannot afford another child," said the woman, a registered nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity.

With a recession on, she was worried about job security.

"People say, 'You're a nurse, you'll always have a job.' I think it's not as true as people think it is."

The recession may be a factor influencing more Americans to opt out of parenthood with abortions and vasectomies, although there is no data available yet to suggest a trend.

Even so, there is some anecdotal evidence that would-be parents are factoring the rough economic times into the most personal of reproductive choices, some experts said.

In 2005, the last year for which data is available, the U.S. abortion rate fell to the lowest level since 1974, according to the Guttmacher Institute in New York, a nonprofit group focusing on reproductive issues.

But at the National Abortion Federation, a hotline for women seeking abortion information has been "ringing off the hook," according to the group's president, Vicki Saporta.

"We are currently getting more calls from women who report that they or their partner have recently lost their job, and we are also hearing from more women facing eviction," she said.

One recent inquiry came from a 24-year-old married woman in Colorado who was evicted after her landlord went into foreclosure. Another came from a 32-year-old pregnant mother in Virginia who had lost her job and health insurance.

"As more and more women and families are struggling due to the crisis, it's affecting more than just low-income families. Now more middle-class and working class families are facing the types problems that we've heard from low-income women," Saporta said.

As with many other nonprofits, abortion assistance groups are being inundated with requests for aid just as funding is drying up.

In the first quarter of 2009, the New York Abortion Access Fund increased funding for abortions 60 percent from year-ago levels, and the number of women receiving assistance more than doubled.


The reach of the recession may stretch beyond women's reproductive decisions to those of men.

Lawrence Ross, a urologist and former president of the American Urological Association, said he and his colleagues have noticed a roughly 50 percent increase in vasectomies in the past four to six months, which he attributes in part to the ailing economy.

About half a million men opt for vasectomies in the United States each year, a number which has remained flat over the years, Ross said.

"Many of them are afraid that they are going to lose their jobs and their health insurance. So while they are covered, a lot more patients, it pushed them over the edge to get it done more quickly," he said.

"A lot of them are saying that we've decided to limit our family, the costs of education and raising kids is so high."

At the same time, urologists have seen a drop in the number of men seeking vasectomy reversals.

While a vasectomy is a relatively simple procedure and typically costs between $1,000 to $1,500, a reversal costs roughly ten times as much.



I believe the headline here should read "Increased Abortions, Vasectomies possibly related to Recession".
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Low-Eight on April 22, 2009, 07:37:05 PM
This is something a rational minarchist might advocate to solve the one fatal flaw of secular libertarianism: inevitable cultural and/or economic collapse due to very low birth rates.

Here's how it would work: each person is responsible for fathering / birthing and raising two children (unless you have a good medical excuse of course, but being gay ain't it).  If you fail to have your first child by 30 and second child by 40, you pay a hefty tax until you do.  The money would be used to care for orphans, expand free / "open source" educational resources for children, and help poor people with lots of kids.  It can be facilitated like Islamic taxation: forced through violence, but you can pay it to any valid cause, avoiding centralized government: reputable charities / orphanages or directly to people who have / adopt lots of kids, and so on.

Brace yourselves.  If by mind can conceive of such evil, so can others.

And start having babies!  I mean it!

And I'm totally going to impose this on myself when I turn 30.



Why exactly would libertarians not have babies?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 22, 2009, 07:44:44 PM
Because no one is forcing / brainwashing them to do it.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: orangedog on April 22, 2009, 09:13:25 PM
If birth rates are going down it's for a damned good reason. Big  brother government and it's supporters who have an authority fetish have figured out that if you control the children, you own the parents. You think that 50%+ divorce rate is an accident?! Go buy a fucking clue. I'll tell you what's happened: after a couple of generations young men have looked at what has happened to at least half of the men in their lives. Their fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, who wound up on the losing side of that game. And they have decided to say "no thanks."

Tell you what...walk up to someone on the street and offer them a bet on a coin toss. Heads, they get to go on with their life and maybe live happily ever after. Tails, they get to see their kids 4 days a month, lose half of what they have worked for, have large amounts of money snatched from their paycheck before they get a chance to cash it with zero say over how it's spent, get threatening letters from the state every few years demanding to know where you work, how much you make, what you have in a safe deposit box, how much cash you have on hand, etc. All because you had the temerity to start a family. He would either scoff at you or punch you in the nose.

Oh, and it's not just the men who get fucked in this game. The women do, too. They just don't see it right away. And the biggest losers are the kids who the state uses to play this sick game with his parents, using him as the pawn.

And you want to use the force of government to punish people who refuse to play this sick game? Fuck you. Fuck you and everyone who looks like you.  May you die choking on your own vomit. Really, I can't think of enough unpleasant yet naturally occurring  ways for people like you to expire, and I have quite an imagination. Spontaneous human combustion would, while entertaining, not be sufficient for people like you.   
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Low-Eight on April 22, 2009, 09:42:55 PM
Because no one is forcing / brainwashing them to do it.

Can't people just have kids that want them? 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 22, 2009, 09:51:49 PM
If birth rates are going down it's for a damned good reason.  [...]

Agreed.  I've always said that once a free society stabilizes the birth rates would rise due to more flexible family arrangements (polygamy, easier surrogate birth contracts, etc) and the psychological effect of parents being the kings of their castle again.  But this upward tick would be a drop in the bucket compared to a tsunami of downward trends: improving economic conditions, access to contraceptives, decline of religion, urbanization, more career-oriented lifestyles, etc.  I don't see what can fix that except a rational (i.e. not based on a made-up religion) social pressure for all people to try to pull their demographic weight.


Can't people just have kids that want them?

Not enough people want to have kids, and people that do are more likely to be idiots.  Libertarians have particularly low birth rates.  (One exception: Ron Paul.)

The free market just doesn't work when it comes to reproduction because there is no reward for accomplishment, as there is with any other beneficial economic activity.  Thus, if we want to survive and prosper, we need an iron fist.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Low-Eight on April 22, 2009, 09:58:12 PM
Not enough? To who's standard?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 22, 2009, 10:01:15 PM
Reality's standard.  (Read the thread more carefully.)  When population ages and shrinks, productivity gains are wasted to make up for that, and eventually they can't.  Then the economy shrinks, bad things happen.  And when natural selection, the fundamental engine behind all life and civilization, is thrown in reverse...  BOOM!

You can't fool basic mathematics.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: orangedog on April 22, 2009, 10:02:03 PM


Quote

The free market just doesn't work when it comes to reproduction because there is no reward for accomplishment, as there is with any other beneficial economic activity.  Thus, if we want to survive and prosper, we need an iron fist.


And again, I'm back to FUCK YOU! (emphasis added). You and the soccer moms and assorted statists should get together and go bowling sometime. You have a lot in common. Get people like you out of the way and others might take the risk of screwing and having kids again.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 22, 2009, 10:08:17 PM
I'm not a statist, and I'm not in anyone's way.  I am simply pointing out basic economic reality here.  Don't shoot the messenger.  I know life would be easier if 2 + 2 didn't have to add up to 4 sometimes, but it still does.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: orangedog on April 22, 2009, 10:18:53 PM
I'm not a statist, and I'm not in anyone's way.  I am simply pointing out basic economic reality here.  Don't shoot the messenger.  I know life would be easier if 2 + 2 didn't have to add up to 4 sometimes, but it still does.


Pal, you're not a messenger bringing the word of some 21st century version of "new math" to the ignorant masses, you're advocating using the full force of government to herd people into a rigged game of poker. Do you work in the divorce industry or just get off using kids to control others? Gotta hand it you you, you've taken "...for the children" to an entirely new and twisted level.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 22, 2009, 10:46:13 PM
I'm not a statist, and I'm not in anyone's way.  I am simply pointing out basic economic reality here.  Don't shoot the messenger.  I know life would be easier if 2 + 2 didn't have to add up to 4 sometimes, but it still does.

Pal, you're not a messenger bringing the word of some 21st century version of "new math" to the ignorant masses, you're advocating using the full force of government to herd people into a rigged game of poker. Do you work in the divorce industry or just get off using kids to control others? Gotta hand it you you, you've taken "...for the children" to an entirely new and twisted level.

Where do I advocate increasing government force?  I advocate decreasing it, and I propose specific ideas for doing just that: decentralized and possibly enforceable through culture alone (i.e. mere ostracism of people who don't pull their demographic weight and don't pay their "childless tax" to a reputable charity).

And I never said it's for the benefit of children who wouldn't otherwise be born, it's for the benefit of the human race as a whole.  Demographic collapse is like hyperinflation: it hurts everyone.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 23, 2009, 07:59:53 AM
I'm not a statist, and I'm not in anyone's way.  I am simply pointing out basic economic reality here.  Don't shoot the messenger.  I know life would be easier if 2 + 2 didn't have to add up to 4 sometimes, but it still does.

Pal, you're not a messenger bringing the word of some 21st century version of "new math" to the ignorant masses, you're advocating using the full force of government to herd people into a rigged game of poker. Do you work in the divorce industry or just get off using kids to control others? Gotta hand it you you, you've taken "...for the children" to an entirely new and twisted level.

Where do I advocate increasing government force?  I advocate decreasing it, and I propose specific ideas for doing just that: decentralized and possibly enforceable through culture alone (i.e. mere ostracism of people who don't pull their demographic weight and don't pay their "childless tax" to a reputable charity).

I don't think it is accurate to call a charitable donation a tax. You don't hear charity workers say "would you care to pay a tax, sir?" Now, you have, in the course of this discussion, defended what is less ambiguously a tax - a coerced transfer of income or property from anybody who has failed to have more than a pre-established number of children.

On your "gradualism" argument. Gradualism is all well and good, and I am not throwing it out and saying that anything we get tomorrow that is not anarchism should be rejected. However, the gradual abolition of the state implies the gradual removal of the powers and functions a government has. Here, whilst you may also be defending the removal of some powers of functions that the government has, you are also advocating adding some to them. That is not the same as gradualism.

Quote
And I never said it's for the benefit of children who wouldn't otherwise be born, it's for the benefit of the human race as a whole.  Demographic collapse is like hyperinflation: it hurts everyone.


True. But it doesn't hurt everyone by violating their rights, and preventing people being hurt in this way may violate rights.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 23, 2009, 11:15:57 AM
I don't think it is accurate to call a charitable donation a tax. You don't hear charity workers say "would you care to pay a tax, sir?" Now, you have, in the course of this discussion, defended what is less ambiguously a tax - a coerced transfer of income or property from anybody who has failed to have more than a pre-established number of children.

I don't want to sugarcoat anything, so I wanted to use the harshest terms that are applicable.  I believe this is one of the ways Minarchist government thugs should distinguish themselves from other types of government thugs.  Maybe I should have gone one step further and called it "coercive redistribution of wealth from non-breeders to breeders to compensate for the redistribution of demographic benefits", but that's a mouthful.

The word "tax" has been used in regard to some "religious duties" (zakat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakat), khums (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khums), huqqu'llh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huqqu'llh), etc) that are not strictly enforced the way socialist taxes are, but are nonetheless strongly encouraged through social pressure.  Even in those flexible circumstances, poor people still often initiate aggression against rich people who don't "pay their fair share".  Religious institutions don't openly encourage this violence, but are still like, "see, this is what happens to greedy people".  :x

The word "charitable" might be applicable because you have a choice: you can have children yourself, you can adopt children, or you can pay the "tax".  In the beginning there may be just a few government-certified charities to choose from, but this will improve gradually as the market matures and government power fades away.  Eventually all reputable child-related charities should be considered acceptable, and even donating the money to someone you know who has more children than income may be sufficient (subject to public transparency and/or review by a reputable auditing firm).  Local schools may offer workshops where people can "volunteer" in exchange for "childless tax credits", because they will pass the labor cost savings to the parents.  Businesses will be incentivized to provide child care benefits.  Etc.


On your "gradualism" argument. Gradualism is all well and good, and I am not throwing it out and saying that anything we get tomorrow that is not anarchism should be rejected. However, the gradual abolition of the state implies the gradual removal of the powers and functions a government has. Here, whilst you may also be defending the removal of some powers of functions that the government has, you are also advocating adding some to them. That is not the same as gradualism.

Minarchists believe that all government altruist programs should eventually be abolished, and I obviously agree with them.  Natalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalism) isn't altruism, however - it is a reward for a productive effort (having and raising children) that is absolutely essential for the survival of the human race.  Altruism harms the economy, natalism keeps it from collapse.

In every society that was smart enough to figure out effective-enough contraception (or wide-spread homosexuality, or abortion, etc), only social pressure has kept human beings reproducing at a sufficient rate.  Societies that fail to keep their birthrates stable go the way of Ancient Rome: into a dark age.  The reality of this situation presents a moral imperative for the use of coercion, but if this problem can be solved without coercion that would obviously be better.

Some Minarchists will argue that other moral imperatives exist, like at a time of a defensive war, when not enough people are willing to fight because they don't have to, and forcing them to fight would make the difference between victory and defeat.  I don't agree with that logic because it assumes that fighting is in everyone's best interest: the conquering government could be just as bad or better.  Even in a Battlestar Galactica type situation, some may argue that Cylons aren't really that bad, and any claims that the enemy is 100% guaranteed to kill you could be a lie - whether it is in your best interest to fight or not is a subjective decision.  When it comes to the battle against demographic collapse, however, you naturally don't have a choice - you already are born into the human race, you can't choose to be born into a different race on another planet somewhere.  The only alternative is death, and you chose not to kill yourself, thus your natural biological imperative to reproduce is your moral imperative as well.

Others can collectively "volunteer" to pull your demographic weight for you, but if the fertility rates are negative then this hasn't been the case.  Your duty to this moral imperative can be transferred, by encouraging someone else to have more children and/or raise them better than they otherwise would have, but it doesn't just go away if you ignore it - it becomes an act of theft.

Yes, it may be possible to apply sufficient societal pressure without government force - but only in theory.  If a state of pure Anarcho-Capitalism is successfully reached, various competing authorities will have various different standards that are encouraged by the marketplace.  Enough soccer moms will refuse to shop at stores that hire employees that have low "natalist karma" (past the average age to have kids, but chose not to, and not donating enough for the benefit of the breeders).  Etc.  But we don't know if AnCapIsm works in practice - we'll have to conduct voluntary experiments (i.e. secession or seasteading) to learn more.  In the meantime, coercion is better than blind faith.


True. But it doesn't hurt everyone by violating their rights, and preventing people being hurt in this way may violate rights.

Once again, in order to logically prove that human beings have rights, you have to base your argument on nature, that is evolution, and the very same framework also imposes natural obligations (i.e. "positive rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights)").  The vast majority of "positive rights" you'll hear about are altruist bullshit, but that doesn't prove that all of them are.  As Anarcho-Capitalist philosophers, our job is to study those positive rights and find ways to fulfill them without the use of centralized force - simply ignoring them would lead to disaster and only discredit our beliefs.

The right to liberty creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual liberty - do not enslave others, do not brainwash your dependents (i.e. children) so as to prevent them from being emancipated from you, do let a harmless lost hiker leave your property unharmed (positive right to free exit), do follow reasonable guidelines with people who owe you restitution (indentured servants?), etc.

The right to property creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual property rights - do not steal from others, do not destroy the property of others, do provide the information to prove how you got your property and what its boundaries are, do not secretly bury nuclear waste that may hurt someone someday, do not bare false witness during property disputes, etc.

And the right to life creates the obligation not to interfere with the system that enables mutual human life - do not kill, do defend yourself if someone is trying to kill you against your will, and do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce (that is - do, like your ancestors before you, contribute to the demographic stability of the human species).
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 23, 2009, 11:35:26 AM
I don't think it is accurate to call a charitable donation a tax. You don't hear charity workers say "would you care to pay a tax, sir?" Now, you have, in the course of this discussion, defended what is less ambiguously a tax - a coerced transfer of income or property from anybody who has failed to have more than a pre-established number of children.

I don't want to sugarcoat anything, so I wanted to use the harshest terms that are applicable.  I believe this is one of the ways Minarchist government thugs should distinguish themselves from other types of government thugs.  Maybe I should have gone one step further and called it "coercive redistribution of wealth from non-breeders to breeders", but that's a mouthful.

The word "tax" has been used in regard to some "religious duties" (zakat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakat), khums (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khums), huqqu'llh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huqqu'llh), etc) that are not strictly enforced the way socialist taxes are, but are nonetheless strongly encouraged through social pressure.  Even in those flexible circumstances, poor people still often initiate aggression against rich people who don't "pay their fair share".  Religious institutions don't openly encourage this violence, but are still like, "see, this is what happens to greedy people".  :x

Sure, many churches have tithes. But I think most people would not call tithes taxes, or taxes tithes.

On your "gradualism" argument. Gradualism is all well and good, and I am not throwing it out and saying that anything we get tomorrow that is not anarchism should be rejected. However, the gradual abolition of the state implies the gradual removal of the powers and functions a government has. Here, whilst you may also be defending the removal of some powers of functions that the government has, you are also advocating adding some to them. That is not the same as gradualism.

Minarchists believe that all government altruist programs should eventually be abolished, and I obviously agree with them.  Natalism isn't altruism, however - it is a reward for a productive effort (having and raising children) that is absolutely essential for the survival of the human race.  Altruism harms the economy, natalism keeps it from collapse.[/quote]

Of course, Bush, Obama and Brown also argued that bank bailout keep the economy from collapse. This would mean, then, if they were correct, that the bailouts, in your view, are justified.

Other things you say are interesting, but I still don't see an explaination as to why what you are proposing is not adding a new power to the government rather than being a scheme for the gradual abolition of government. Until you do that, you can frame this as being part of a policy of gradualism.

Quote
True. But it doesn't hurt everyone by violating their rights, and preventing people being hurt in this way may violate rights.

Once again, in order to logically prove that human beings have rights, you have to base your argument on nature, that is evolution,

Why? I would say I certainly wouldn't, because I would run the risk of committing the naturalistic fallacy. I would, instead, take a different tact, arguing that libertarian rights are mutually advantageous, or that they capture important intuitions that people hold.

Quote
and the very same framework also imposes natural obligations (i.e. "positive rights").

This is an error already, since not all moral obligations correlate need to rights, so even if it is true that the needs of evolution (which is not a good, per se) generate obligations, it doesn't follow that it generates rights.

Quote
The right to liberty creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual liberty - do not enslave others, do not brainwash your dependents (i.e. children) so as to prevent them from being emancipated from you, do let a harmless lost hiker leave your property unharmed (positive right to free exit), do follow reasonable guidelines with people who owe you restitution (indentured servants?), etc.

The right to property creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual property rights - do not steal from others, do not destroy the property of others, do provide the information to prove how you got your property and what its boundaries are, do not secretly bury nuclear waste that may hurt someone someday, do not bare false witness during property disputes, etc.

And the right to life creates the obligation not to interfere with the system that enables mutual human life - do not kill, do defend yourself if someone is trying to kill you against your will, and do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce.

Everything here made sense, except this "do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce." If I were to interfere in all the other things you mention, like the means by which people protect their property, I would violate their rights. But interfering in my own biological imperative to reproduce seems to be violating my own rights. But that makes no sense!
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on April 23, 2009, 06:09:04 PM
Sure, many churches have tithes. But I think most people would not call tithes taxes, or taxes tithes.

Use of language can be subjective, and the word "tax" means different things in different societies / contexts, as it does in Islam or the Baha'i religion that I've referenced.  Besides, we're still talking about the Minarchist context, at least for the near future, so we are in fact talking about something imposed by the government.  If/when we find ourselves in an Anarcho-Capitalist utopia where people maintain stable fertility rates without coercion, then we can call it something else.


Of course, Bush, Obama and Brown also argued that bank bailout keep the economy from collapse. This would mean, then, if they were correct, that the bailouts, in your view, are justified.

When someone claims to have a moral imperative for justified use of force, the burden of proof is on them.  If you kill someone in self-defense, you still have to prove that the perp represented clear and present danger (being on your property in the middle of the night and refusing to cooperate is probably proof enough).  Etc.  I believe those government bailouts do a lot more harm than good, and proving that would be beyond the scope of this thread.  The necessity of reproduction is much more straightforward.

It is also essential to keep in mind that defense of a dysfunctional and immoral system is not a moral imperative!  Even if those bailouts were a net benefit, which they aren't, they nonetheless are a side-effect of government's past interventionism in the market place.  The government interfered with natural market signals by manipulating interest rates, the currency supply, redistributing wealth, providing financial institutions with a safety net, forcing them to provide bad loans (i.e. "ownership society"), monopolizing mechanisms of disclosure and oversight, and so on.  That system is not worth saving, because its collapse would eventually lead to a better one.  The need for human reproduction, on the other hand, is a consequence of nature - that is the path that evolution has taken billions of years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolution#Proterozoic_eon), and we all exist as a consequence of that fact.  One can't choose to live, claim natural rights, and at the same time believe that the natural system that created him is immoral or does not constitute an imperative value!

Furthermore, there's the severity factor - the "economic collapse" the defenders of those bailouts claim they prevent would have been small and brief compared to the consequences of the demographic collapse we're heading toward.  Their worst (some would say insane) fear-mongering sees the world economy decelerating its growth from 5% to 3% for a decade.  Compare that to what would happen if the global fertility rates would stabilize at 1.5 children per woman (i.e. same as Canada today) - we're talking about the population shrinking from 6.5 to 4.4 billion in one generation, 3.0 billion in the next, 2.1 billion in the next, 1.4 billion in the next - indefinitely.  The effect of having so many old people and so few young people becomes a big problem.  The dysgenic effect of poorest people having the bulk of those children that are born is probably even more significant.

If birth rates are not falling below sub-replacement levels, if the economic consequences of that are not as bad as I describe, or if there is a way to fix this problem without use of force, then my justification for use of government force in this case is wrong.


Other things you say are interesting, but I still don't see an explaination as to why what you are proposing is not adding a new power to the government rather than being a scheme for the gradual abolition of government. Until you do that, you can frame this as being part of a policy of gradualism.

Like I've said, it would help replace many existing government programs that perform a similar role more altruistically / less efficiently: welfare for people with children, health care benefits for children, public schools, and so on.  An effort to take those programs away would otherwise be shattered with the argument that: "Sure, people should pull their own economic weight and all that, but what about idiots who have too many kids?  And if having children becomes more expensive, fewer people will have them, and then the Muslims will just move in and take over."  :roll:

Furthermore, this government program would preempt the efforts of the "Christian right" to use the government to legislate their morality: a prohibition on abortion, suppression of "gay rights", and so on.  Natalism is at the core of what they are pushing, but they are doing it through irrational, immoral, and ineffective means.  Their subconscious mind is telling them: "I do a lot of hard work by having and raising children, others should suffer the same plight as well".  By commoditizing this responsibility, abortions and gays no longer matter as much.  Sure, some intolerant religious bullshit will persist, but fewer reasonable people will be willing to side with them.

There are no down-sides to people choosing not to have children themselves and paying others to have larger families, and many up-sides.  People will specialize either on their careers or on their children instead of trying (and most often failing) to juggle both.  A large family getting an income for every child after the second one means one of the parents can stay home, which has certain developmental benefits for children and also facilitates use of homeschooling.  More people will have grown up with siblings, which statistically tends to increase one's social skills, sense of responsibility, and so on.  Many gay and otherwise childless individuals come to feel (or are made to feel) guilty that they did not have children - now they would have an institutionalized framework through which they can constructively rid themselves of that guilt while helping others.  Since families will compete for the best childbirth grants from the best charities, it means more children will be born to better parents and fewer to worse parents, putting natural selection back on its track.  And since people born into large happy families are more likely to start large happy families themselves when they grow up, there is a good chance this program can be phased out after a couple of generations because it would perpetuate itself naturally!


Why? I would say I certainly wouldn't, because I would run the risk of committing the naturalistic fallacy.

I am arguing that an "appeal to nature" is an appeal to reality, and does not constitute a fallacy of relevance (Wikipedia has a socialist bias on this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature)).  It should be distinguished from fallacies like chronological snobbery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronological_snobbery), appeal to tradition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_tradition), primitivism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitivism), and so on.  Evolution is a part of nature, and so are the human beings and the things they do and create for their benefit.

I never said that the human race should abandon its attempts to solve the problem of falling birthrates through other means: robotics, human cloning, life extension, mind-to-computer uploading, etc, etc, etc.  But we cannot count on those alternatives to save us in time, and as the economy begins to decline due to the demographic crisis so will our ability to pull ourselves out of it.  In the meantime, the old-fashioned biological reproduction is still a moral imperative.


I would, instead, take a different tact, arguing that libertarian rights are mutually advantageous, or that they capture important intuitions that people hold.

How do you validate the value of "intuition"?  How do you decide whether something is "advantageous" or not?

The question of the origin of natural rights is very important.  Just to accept an answer that sounds good to you, or to the majority of your audience, is to gamble on your irrational whim, subjecting all your subsequent judgments to an erroneous foundation that cannot be tested objectively.  This is what religions have done for thousands of years, but we are challenged to try to do better.

To pursue an effective answer to those questions would require analysis of the broader context in which rational thought can take place: how do you know if something is true or false?  The most objectively effective method of reasoning ever discovered by man is empirical science, which puts a hypothesis through experiments and thorough testing, but how do you test the proposition that human beings ought to recognize specific rights in other human beings?  How do you tell if the hypothesis you have is valid?  The answer to that is competitive advantage: the best hypothesis is the one that will produce measurable results that are more desirable than any other hypothesis you (or anyone else) can think of and test.

Everything is relative.  Whether something is "mutually advantageous" or "captures important intuitions that people hold" are just two out of countless different aspects of whether a particular social theory represents a competitive advantage over others.  The importance of those attributes compared to other attributes is speculative until a system is tested as a whole.  Whoever invented the popular religions came up with brilliant and useful systems, but their contradictions and falsehoods make them incompatible with modern scientific thought.  Communists claimed that their theories made sense on paper, and certain aspects of their theories certainly are well thought-out (i.e. how to make central planning work) and very popular (i.e. equality, altruism, etc).  And yet when it was implemented in practice and compared to other countries that were more capitalist - Communism was a clear failure every time.  It's the end result that matters!

Our capacity for experiment is very limited obviously, we can't put a significantly-identical societies in different petri dishes, have each base its dominant social philosophy on a particular hypothesis, and then numerically measure the results through a microscope.  (And those tests would need to be done millions of times to take random variation into account.)  Thus nothing in social philosophy is bulletproof, but we must nonetheless base our arguments on the basis of competitive advantage as empirically as possible.  We can take examples from history, conduct small-scale experiments, apply deductive /  induction / abductive reasoning, and so on.  Which is what we are doing here.

And thus I am asking you to contemplate two identical societies that take on two different social philosophies.  The first, the one you seem to advocate, would be based on blind faith in "individual self-ownership".  The second, the one I advocate, would base its moral philosophy on doing whatever it takes to achieve objective success, in other words evolution.  The first society will pay any price, bare any burden to keep its ideology pure - no surrender, no retreat, no compromises, no exceptions.  The second society too will discover "individual self-ownership", and if that's what works then that's the system it will use - for as long as it makes the most sense.  The second society recognizes the need for moral imperatives to compromise with its mundane principles, the first one does not.  Then both societies face a challenge: threat of economic decline due to falling fertility rates.  You can see where this is going.

The philosophy that values success itself and keeps an open mind will succeed, while any specific dogma, no matter how brilliant, will eventually become a liability.  No, this is not circular logic, this is self-validation.  The most successful social philosophy is the one that most effectively applies rational thought to adapt its goals to the most valid evaluation criteria - the principles of evolution applied to social philosophy!


This is an error already, since not all moral obligations correlate need to rights, so even if it is true that the needs of evolution (which is not a good, per se) generate obligations, it doesn't follow that it generates rights.

No, evolution is indeed the highest value that trumps all others (see above), and that expresses itself in perpetual metabolic, demographic, and eventually economic growth.  In absence of God, what other means of objective value judgments can there be?


Everything here made sense, except this "do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce." If I were to interfere in all the other things you mention, like the means by which people protect their property, I would violate their rights. But interfering in my own biological imperative to reproduce seems to be violating my own rights. But that makes no sense!

All rights exist on the basis of net benefit to civilization (see above).  They (especially negative rights) apply to a specific individual, but their benefit and purpose don't stop there.

The moral imperative to catch and prosecute a killer, which would trump your right not to testify at his trial, doesn't come for the benefit of the person who died (who no longer has rights and might have no friends or family to press his interests) nor for your own safety (you individually might be so able to defend yourself that killer is not a threat), but because murder is harmful to the economy.  If one murderer can get away with it, it will encourage others.  As the murder rate goes up, so does the cost of protection, eventually making civilized society downright impossible.

The positive right to free exit makes travel less dangerous for everyone, bringing down the cost of a pizza you order delivered because the driver's salary would be negotiated in knowing he isn't likely to get shot if he parks next to the wrong house.  And, once again, the example of secretly burying nuclear waste: harm is created without specific victims being known, they might not be born for another 10,000 years!

And if you base a moral system on reciprocity alone, then people who are willing to refuse certain rights are free to violate that right in others.  (And if you don't have the right to consent to a violation of your right then it's not really a right, now is it?)  A person who decided to swear off property ownership and give all his stuff away for ideological reasons, a person who is signing himself over into indentured servitude, or a person who is about to kill himself still have an obligation to respect the rights to property, liberty, and life in others.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Karrde188 on April 24, 2009, 04:38:18 PM

This was probably mentioned already. I just don't have time to read every post in this thread to find it. But Mankind's population is growing; not shrinking. Sure, The birthrate in the U.S. & most other developed nations is stagnant, but we got all those 3rd world countries making babies at a geometric rate. Besides, there are environmental benefits to lower populations.

Less people means...

* less gridlock traffic & quicker commutes

* shorter lines

* less crowding (like say in NYC or Hong Kong, for example, where people are pushing each other around trying to get from point A to B).

I don't know about you, but I get claustrophobic in big crowds.

Besides, Dan Carlin addressed this in his "Population is Destiny" episode, citing that our lack of population growth is due to our prosperity.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: One two three on April 24, 2009, 05:45:32 PM
This is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.  People without children pay property taxes (which mostly fund schools) and pay much more in income taxes than people with children.  So they already pay more taxes even though they use far less government services.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Karrde188 on April 24, 2009, 09:43:30 PM
This is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.  People without children pay property taxes (which mostly fund schools) and pay much more in income taxes than people with children.  So they already pay more taxes even though they use far less government services.

This.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Luke Smith on April 24, 2009, 11:16:17 PM
This is something a rational minarchist might advocate to solve the one fatal flaw of secular libertarianism: inevitable cultural and/or economic collapse due to very low birth rates.

Here's how it would work: each person is responsible for fathering / birthing and raising two children (unless you have a good medical excuse of course, but being gay ain't it).  If you fail to have your first child by 30 and second child by 40, you pay a hefty tax until you do.  The money would be used to care for orphans, expand free / "open source" educational resources for children, and help poor people with lots of kids.  It can be facilitated like Islamic taxation: forced through violence, but you can pay it to any valid cause, avoiding centralized government: reputable charities / orphanages or directly to people who have / adopt lots of kids, and so on.

Brace yourselves.  If by mind can conceive of such evil, so can others.

And start having babies!  I mean it!

And I'm totally going to impose this on myself when I turn 30.

Wow. And people here call me the statist.

First of all, we already have a childless tax. People with dependent children get child credits against the income tax, meaning that the rest of us pay at a higher rate than they do, assuming the same income.

You are right that secular people tend to have less children than religious people. But another big factor in low birthrates is all the welfare state socialism that is going on in this country and in Europe. Before we had social security and medicare, people who wanted a "social safety net" during old age looked to their children to provide it. Now what we're stuck with is low birth rates and all sorts of old people who are getting social security checks every month and medicare but are living lonely lives with nobody to really take care of them because so many of their families just don't care and don't feel the need to care.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 25, 2009, 08:06:16 AM
I've already addressed all of those.

I hope someone else will come along and debunk me.

Until someone does, this goes on my "why Anarcho-Capitalism won't work" list.

Blind faith sucks.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: atomiccat on April 25, 2009, 02:35:10 PM
if people are too stupid to make enough babies for the human population to keep growing, (when its needed) Then let them die, ill be happy to become a polygamist to help populate the world :P and I bet there are plenty of others who would to, to keep up the slack from other non baby makers and sterlie people
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 25, 2009, 03:15:23 PM
"Let them die" doesn't apply.   Human beings will always be around in one form or another, but what this crisis means is that world economy will be in perpetual decline, causing a "negative feedback cycle" of instability.  And we need it to go up up up, ya know, to cure cancer and make better iPhones 'n stuff.

It's not just a matter of fathering children, it's a matter of convincing women to have them, raising those children, paying for their needs, and so on.  Religious brainwashing is fading away, and rational people (on average) don't breed very well...



Oh, and ...

... here's what you append to all your forum posts if you want every person viewing them to hammer maqs.com for ~8MB of bandwidth: 

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:twisted:
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 26, 2009, 11:35:14 AM
(I'll now be catching up replying to the gap I've created when I couldn't keep up and then started replying to newer posts.)


Firstly, civilisation would only fail if everybody exercises this right. But that is not plausible.

No, average global fertility rates falling below 2.1 children per woman is not only plausible, it's pretty much guaranteed unless something is done.


Secondly, whether or not you are injured by my inaction is irrelevent:  [...]

In a free society, statements like this would have very serious consequences to your reputation.  You are responsible for the harm you cause, whether it is through action or inaction.  If you store tires on your property, it is your obligation to make sure they don't catch on fire and pollute your neighbors.  If you promise to spot (http://www.ehow.com/how_2076253_spot-someone-bench-press.html) someone while he's bench-pressing, that creates an obligation to at least try to help and not leave that person trapped under a barbell.  Etc.  And there are some natural obligations you are born into, the foremost of which is to reproduce.


[...]  But that doesn't mean that taking an extra day's weekend is a crime, or a rights violation, because you have no right that people work when they have not agreed to.

Nature does not dictate how many hours people should work, that is an individual decision incentivized by the reward you get in exchange for working.  We have a little thing called money to make sure everyone pulls their economic weight.  

Nature does dictate the realities of reproduction, there is no sufficient reward for it.  That's why we need to create a means of exchange to encourage people to pull their demographic weight.  Failure to do so is demographic communism, and that simply does not work - the lazy benefit from the hard work of others, the incentive to be productive declines, and so does the output.


Food production is necessary for survival. Self-owners may well decide not to produce any more food. Civilisation would collapse, and humanity die out. Does that mean that it would be OK to force people to work on plantations?

That cannot happen - when the price of food goes high enough, more people will be willing to produce it.  And individuals can grow their own food for their own benefit.  Those market signals don't exist for reproduction - and they should.  The demographic crisis affects everyone, you can't make yourself immune to it by having enough children yourself.


Yes, all these terrible things could happen. But that still doesn't alter the fact that forcing people to have kids, or provide for those that are having them, is a violation of their rights.

Could?  Given the current trend, what would prevent them?

And the arguments you are making are identical to the arguments of the people who fail to recognize property rights.  "Boo hoo hoo, forcing us to work for our money and pay for stuff is theft."  They fail to understand the incentives behind economic production, and you fail to understand the incentives behind biological reproduction.  


People have kids now without having to be coerced into it.

It's not just a matter of having kids, it's a matter of having enough kids - and raising them, and paying for them.  Most kids who are born in this world now are born as a consequence of poverty or ignorance.  The world continues to become more secular, more individualist, more urbanized, etc.  Your blind faith that some solution you can't even imagine will just fall from the sky is very disturbing.


There are no positive rights.

Only if you base your understanding of rights on wishful thinking rather than reality.


They are inherently contradictory, generating incompossibility problems, both with negative rights, and with each other.

Failure to comply with your wishful thinking is not a contradiction.  Failure to comply with the reality of nature is.


They also can only exist at a given time and under given circumstances, and so cannot be considered human rights, as they cannot exist at all times and places that humans can exist.

Says who?  Just because a certain circumstance isn't perpetual doesn't mean it isn't a part of human nature.  Emergencies (http://www.google.com/search?q=ayn+rand+emergencies) happen.  Things change.  And don't forget that on a long enough time-line, there's no such thing as human nature.  We evolve.  Things that are true of us aren't true of primate ancestors, or of the primordial goo from which we ultimately originate.  Absence of rights among monkeys is what made it possible for them to compete and evolve into man!

Rights are based on the collective competitive advantage that arises from cooperation - which is only true once a certain level of civilization is reached.  The cavemen, who could not possibly grow enough food for everyone, did not have rights as we do today, even though they were almost identical to us genetically.  If a hypothetical a super-human force were to put human feral children (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child) onto an other Earth-like planet, thus creating an isolated culture of human beings whose level of development is similar to cavemen, the reality of their existence would make rights harmful and unnatural.  They'd need to figure out how to build simple tools, hunt, domesticate animals, grow food, utilize fire, and all other civilization advances from scratch, which won't happen overnight.  In the meantime, every day will be a struggle for survival.  They would have the opposite situation with birth rates than we're having, more children than can possibly survive, thus creating competition within the species for the limited resources available.  This competition, which initially is very violent, is what drives civilization forward.

When all human beings lived in tribal "gift economies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_economy)" there was no need for money, but that need gradually emerged as societies became more sophisticated, and it is downright impossible to have a stable society beyond the hunter-gatherer level without explicit "property rights" and some recognized means of exchange.  The same applies to post-industrialized societies and the "childless tax".


No. Actively preventing you from leaving would constitute false imprisonment. Failure to help you leave wouldn't.

That's kind of like putting a plastic bag over someone's head and saying "you have the right to live, but not to breathe the air on my property".  That isn't to say that you'd owe me a limo ride off your property, I may have to call someone or pay for the taxi myself, but then you'd be obligated to let that taxi get to me and leave with me on board, which is still a limitation of your property rights for the sake of my positive right to free exit.  And you could be asked to yield your property rights further by a subpoena duces tecum, so that evidence about that plane crash can be effectively gathered.


Quote
You didn't ask some retard to rob a convenience store, killing the clerk and leaving you as the only witness, yet you have an obligation to appear at his trial,
I certainly do not. Forcing me to do so would be forced labour.

Yes, forced labor.  Which I'm in favor of in this circumstance, just like I'm in favor of a person with no money naturally being "forced" to work if no one is willing to feed him for free.  You can always choose death, but if you choose to live then you must live within the context of reality and its requirements, both individual and collective.


A legal system that forces people to turn up in court is not based on fundamental natural rights, but on violating them. You will find precisely this issue discussed in Rothbard's For a New Liberty.

I'm a huge fan of Rothbard's theories, but they're just that - theories.  Capitalist Minarchism is pretty much a proven fact at this point, but Anarcho-Capitalism still needs to be experimented with, and that won't happen overnight.  We need to take one step at a time, conduct voluntary experiments, and adjust our theories as needed.  If we fail to apply rational fallibilism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallibilism) to our ideas, then we're hardly much better than Marxist thugs or Jihadists!


(Gotta go, will continue replying later.)
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Harry Tuttle on April 26, 2009, 01:09:27 PM
Alex, you know nothing about the complexities of humanities interactions and what the potentials are for what humanity can achieve. Neither do I, only I actually know it. Taking a few figures, calling them trends and announcing some great revelation does not signify anything. Your bad habit of trying to get everyone together to solve one of humanities problems is exactly why liberty has such a hard time. 

Suggesting a threat of demographic winter is crap. Libertarians do not need to know the alternative solutions to every "problem" that the statists claim to solve for two simple reasons.

1) The statists do not have those answers either
2) More proplems are caused by statists than they would have us believe they are curing

Social engineering = FAIL!  You are the Al Gore of the FTL BBS.

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on April 26, 2009, 01:17:54 PM
Libertarians do not need to know the alternative solutions to every "problem" that the statists claim to solve for two simple reasons.

1) The statists do not have those answers either
2) More proplems are caused by statists than they would have us believe they are curing

Maybe it's not the best analogy, but that reminds me of people who ask atheists who they worship since they don't believe in God-- what fills the "god-shaped hole" in their hearts, and answers the questions of meaning about the universe which God used to do.  That god is called the God of the Gaps.

I think you've just named the Government of the Gaps.   :)
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Harry Tuttle on April 26, 2009, 03:41:16 PM
At least Alex isn't so small minded to obsess over "what about the roads", but he is even worse in that he sees all of nature and humanity as fodder for government intervention.

Liberty is living without a net.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 27, 2009, 08:50:00 AM
Secondly, whether or not you are injured by my inaction is irrelevent:  [...]

In a free society, statements like this would have very serious consequences to your reputation.  You are responsible for the harm you cause, whether it is through action or inaction.  If you store tires on your property, it is your obligation to make sure they don't catch on fire and pollute your neighbors.  If you promise to spot (http://www.ehow.com/how_2076253_spot-someone-bench-press.html) someone while he's bench-pressing, that creates an obligation to at least try to help and not leave that person trapped under a barbell.  Etc.  And there are some natural obligations you are born into, the foremost of which is to reproduce.

At least one of these examples, pollution, involves a violation of rights. It would be the fact that I violated rights that I get punished for, not the fact that I harmed somebody. Take another example: Suppose I open up a shop over the road from you, offering a similar product, at a better price, and so successfully attract much of your business away from you. Plainly my action has harmed you. But we wouldn't say that i should be punished, because, even though my action has harmed you, it has not violated your rights - you had no right that the customers I attract away from you do business with you and not me.

Take another example, suppose you deeply loathe the colour blue, and I walk in front of you whilst wearing a blue shirt. Clearly this has harmed you again - you are worse off than you were when you view didn't include me in a blue shirt. But we don't say this should be punishable, because you had no right that I refrain from wearing blue or walking in front of you whilst doing so.

It is violations of rights, or risks of violations of rights, that are the offense here, not the harming, or risk of harming.

Quote
[...]  But that doesn't mean that taking an extra day's weekend is a crime, or a rights violation, because you have no right that people work when they have not agreed to.

Nature does not dictate how many hours people should work, that is an individual decision incentivized by the reward you get in exchange for working.  We have a little thing called money to make sure everyone pulls their economic weight.  

Nature does dictate the realities of reproduction, there is no sufficient reward for it.  That's why we need to create a means of exchange to encourage people to pull their demographic weight.  Failure to do so is demographic communism, and that simply does not work - the lazy benefit from the hard work of others, the incentive to be productive declines, and so does the output.

OK, so the "lazy" benefit from the hard work of others. Big deal. What is wrong with benefitting from the hard work of others? When has benefitting from the work of others been something that libertarians think should be punishable?

Quote
Food production is necessary for survival. Self-owners may well decide not to produce any more food. Civilisation would collapse, and humanity die out. Does that mean that it would be OK to force people to work on plantations?

That cannot happen - when the price of food goes high enough, more people will be willing to produce it.

This is false, since my example involved people who valued their leisure time more than money (they were willing to take a pay cut in order to get an extra day's holiday).

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Yes, all these terrible things could happen. But that still doesn't alter the fact that forcing people to have kids, or provide for those that are having them, is a violation of their rights.

Could?  Given the current trend, what would prevent them?

And the arguments you are making are identical to the arguments of the people who fail to recognize property rights.  "Boo hoo hoo, forcing us to work for our money and pay for stuff is theft."  They fail to understand the incentives behind economic production, and you fail to understand the incentives behind biological reproduction.

It has nothing to do with incentives, and all to do with property rights. In fact, it is you that is being the communist here, since it is you that is advocating violating property rights, nationalising people, on the grounds that doing so ensures or increases the economic wellbeing of all.

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There are no positive rights.

Only if you base your understanding of rights on wishful thinking rather than reality.

No, on coherence. The notion of positive rights entails a contradiction, because positive rights clash both with each other and with other rights, creating incompossibilities of rights and their correlative duties. Since contradictions cannot exist, then, positive rights cannot exist.

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They are inherently contradictory, generating incompossibility problems, both with negative rights, and with each other.

Failure to comply with your wishful thinking is not a contradiction.  Failure to comply with the reality of nature is.

I'm not sure how this even addresses my point. Look, take a commonly claimed positive right, a "right to a decent home." Now suppose that there is a decent home, but it can only house one family at a time. Plainly one family excercising their "right to a decent home" entails violating the other family's "right to a decent home," since the former deprives the latter of their "decent home." But if the latter got the home, the former would be deprived of it. Plainly it is impossible for either rightholder to exercise their right without violating the rights of the others. In fact, merely having asuch a right would be a violation of the identical right in others.

This is why positive rights are an incoherent nonsense. They cannot exist.

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They also can only exist at a given time and under given circumstances, and so cannot be considered human rights, as they cannot exist at all times and places that humans can exist.

Says who?  Just because a certain circumstance isn't perpetual doesn't mean it isn't a part of human nature.  Emergencies (http://www.google.com/search?q=ayn+rand+emergencies) happen.  Things change.  And don't forget that on a long enough time-line, there's no such thing as human nature.  We evolve.  Things that are true of us aren't true of primate ancestors, or of the primordial goo from which we ultimately originate.  Absence of rights among monkeys is what made it possible for them to compete and evolve into man!

Rights are based on the collective competitive advantage that arises from cooperation - which is only true once a certain level of civilization is reached.  The cavemen, who could not possibly grow enough food for everyone, did not have rights as we do today, even though they were almost identical to us genetically.  If a hypothetical a super-human force were to put human feral children (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child) onto an other Earth-like planet, thus creating an isolated culture of human beings whose level of development is similar to cavemen, the reality of their existence would make rights harmful and unnatural.  They'd need to figure out how to build simple tools, hunt, domesticate animals, grow food, utilize fire, and all other civilization advances from scratch, which won't happen overnight.  In the meantime, every day will be a struggle for survival.  They would have the opposite situation with birth rates than we're having, more children than can possibly survive, thus creating competition within the species for the limited resources available.  This competition, which initially is very violent, is what drives civilization forward.

When all human beings lived in tribal "gift economies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_economy)" there was no need for money, but that need gradually emerged as societies became more sophisticated, and it is downright impossible to have a stable society beyond the hunter-gatherer level without explicit "property rights" and some recognized means of exchange.  The same applies to post-industrialized societies and the "childless tax".

All this just proves that these positive rights you have made up only purtain to particular humans at particular times, and so are not rights that all humans have by virtue of being human. It would be odd to call them human rights, then.

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No. Actively preventing you from leaving would constitute false imprisonment. Failure to help you leave wouldn't.

That's kind of like putting a plastic bag over someone's head and saying "you have the right to live, but not to breathe the air on my property".

It isn't, because putting a plastic bag on your head involves me actively doing something. You wandering onto my land doesn't.

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That isn't to say that you'd owe me a limo ride off your property, I may have to call someone or pay for the taxi myself, but then you'd be obligated to let that taxi get to me and leave with me on board,

No I wouldn't. Because...

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which is still a limitation of your property rights for the sake of my positive right to free exit.

Ta da!

Plus, suppose there were only room in the taxi for you, but both you and somebody else were lost on my land, in advertdly. If you took the taxi, wouldn't you be preventing the other person from leaving? And isn't preventing their leaving a violation of their "positive right to free exit"? But if they were to prevent you from violating their right to free exit by taking the taxi yourself, wouldn't they be violating your "positive right to free exit"? How does either of you exercise this right without violating the righ of the other, or prevent their right being violated without also violating the right of the other? It seems that your "positive right to a free exit" would entail a "right to violate a positive right to free exit," as well as a right to violate my property rights against trespass. Contradiction upon contradiction!

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And you could be asked to yield your property rights further by a subpoena duces tecum, so that evidence about that plane crash can be effectively gathered.

I can be asked to yield my property, sure. But if I say "no," coming onto my property anyway, or forcing me to provide it, would still be a violation of my property rights.

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You didn't ask some retard to rob a convenience store, killing the clerk and leaving you as the only witness, yet you have an obligation to appear at his trial,
I certainly do not. Forcing me to do so would be forced labour.

Yes, forced labor.

And, as a self-owner, I have rights against forced labour.

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Which I'm in favor of in this circumstance, just like I'm in favor of a person with no money naturally being "forced" to work if no one is willing to feed him for free.

Somebody who works to get money for food because nobody else will feed him is not being "forced to work."

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You can always choose death, but if you choose to live then you must live within the context of reality and its requirements, both individual and collective.

The difference is that if nobody will feed me, then my alternatives are that I either work or die, whilst under forced labour I must either work, or somebody does something to me. My starving doesn't involve somebody doing something to me, just refraining from doing something for me.

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A legal system that forces people to turn up in court is not based on fundamental natural rights, but on violating them. You will find precisely this issue discussed in Rothbard's For a New Liberty.

I'm a huge fan of Rothbard's theories, but they're just that - theories.  Capitalist Minarchism is pretty much a proven fact at this point, but Anarcho-Capitalism still needs to be experimented with, and that won't happen overnight.  We need to take one step at a time, conduct voluntary experiments, and adjust our theories as needed.  If we fail to apply rational fallibilism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallibilism) to our ideas, then we're hardly much better than Marxist thugs or Jihadists!

The section in For a new Liberty referred to doesn't relate to anarchism, but to the implications of observance of man's rights, one of which is that it is unjust to force a person to testify in court.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 27, 2009, 10:07:45 AM
(Still filling the gap with older posts.)


For instance - actually, I don't know if you have them in the US - but in the UK we have pelican crossings, where pressing a button sets off a timer at the end of which the lights will change colour and allowing pedestrians to cross. Anyway, if there is a crowd of people at the crossing, they all benefit if somebody presses the button, and pressing the button means going out of one's way, over to the light post, and pushing it. But free-riding doesn't happen, since it doesn't cost that much to go over and press the button.

Yes, we have those in New Jersey, but that analogy is completely irrelevant.  A better analogy would be every person has to press that button at least once or a big truck runs everyone over.


The benefit of free-riding from other people's reproduction is so insignificant that nobody is going to do it. I mean, how much to you gain from somebody 3,000 miles away dropping a sprog?

If you want to be taken seriously in this discussion, you really need to put more mental effort into this.  Re-read the thread a couple of times.  Do some research.  You're spouting utter nonsense - which I've already addressed.

We are talking about total human population and its total economy, of which you are a part.  It doesn't really matter who has the babies as much as it matter that enough babies are born and raised.  If there were human beings flying back and forth to Mars, then the human birth rates on Mars would affect you too.


[...]  So that, if you enjoy the sight of a well maintained yard, and your neighbour spend on maintaining his yard, but you don't pay him for doing so, you are stealing from him?

Yet again I have to repeat the obvious - yard maintenance does not constitute an economic emergency!  You were not born through your mother mowing her lawn!  No civilization in history has fallen into dark ages for lack of yard maintenance!


Benefitting from people is not sufficient to claim that you have stolen from them.

Then, according to you, everyone should be able to get into debt and refuse to pay it back.  You are born indebted to reproduce.


If I (and sufficient others) do not reproduce, everybody suffers. But this suffering is not cause by our violating rights  [...]

As I have already explained, your concept of rights is illogical and based on nothing but wishful thinking.  What you're saying is indistinguishable from "screw those suckers who planted this vegetable field, I'm going to eat from it without compensating them".  Absence of property rights discourages production.  Absence of parental benefits discourages reproduction.


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Force can be natural or artificial.  You are a part of the human race.  Is that force? 

Huh?

Is the government forcing you to be its citizen, use its currency, and suffer the effects of inflation?  The answer is yes - that constitutes artificial force, that is aggression.  You should be able to choose which voluntary organizations you belong to and which currency you choose to use.

Is anyone forcing you to be a part of the human race?  The answer is no.  You cannot choose to be born into a different civilization on another planet somewhere!  Maybe living in that other civilization would have some benefits: no need to eat, spend money on medicine, or reproduce.  But in this civilization those things are necessary for survival.  The fact that reality requires you to do those things is natural force.


I'm a very big fan of South Asian girls, but it takes at very least $10,000 a year to raise a child (including education).  I don't think this problem can be solved by a few rich guys taking on some third world wives.

I'm sure we could manage to do it for far less.  Many of them make far less than this where they are.  They would help us make do.  I'm suggesting poorer countries because many of us don't have a lot as it is and it would be more workable.

Well, that argument isn't relevant because I'm not advocating any specific numbers, just bring up examples.  The free market would decide which charities that you pay your "childless tax" to use the most cost-efficient and otherwise most desirable methods.  If/when society evolves closer to Anarcho-Capitalism, even more flexibility would be possible.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on April 27, 2009, 10:34:55 AM
(Still filling the gap with older posts.)


For instance - actually, I don't know if you have them in the US - but in the UK we have pelican crossings, where pressing a button sets off a timer at the end of which the lights will change colour and allowing pedestrians to cross. Anyway, if there is a crowd of people at the crossing, they all benefit if somebody presses the button, and pressing the button means going out of one's way, over to the light post, and pushing it. But free-riding doesn't happen, since it doesn't cost that much to go over and press the button.

Yes, we have those in New Jersey, but that analogy is completely irrelevant.  A better analogy would be every person has to press that button at least once or a big truck runs everyone over.

Why is that a better analogy? In your analogy it is impossible to free-ride, but the possibility of free-riding is key to your argument. The only reason you seem to think that it is necessary to force people to have kids, or contribute to those to do, is because you think that people have an incentive to free ride off other people having kids, to benefit from reproduction without reproducing oneself.

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The benefit of free-riding from other people's reproduction is so insignificant that nobody is going to do it. I mean, how much to you gain from somebody 3,000 miles away dropping a sprog?

If you want to be taken seriously in this discussion, you really need to put more mental effort into this.  Re-read the thread a couple of times.  Do some research.  You're spouting utter nonsense - which I've already addressed.

We are talking about total human population and its total economy, of which you are a part.  It doesn't really matter who has the babies as much as it matter that enough babies are born and raised.  If there were human beings flying back and forth to Mars, then the human birth rates on Mars would affect you too.

No, the marginal increase in the human population, or a decrease, for that matter, barely affects me at all. The effect of one more birth on my income or purchasing power is pretty much nonexistant.

You are making the same mistake that socialists do when they talk about the injustice of a football player being paid so much when "teachers are so much more important." Sure, if we were asked to give up all teachers or all footballers, we would probably say, "OK, let there be no football players," but wages and prices aren't determined like that; they are determined at the margin. So instead of choosing how much we would pay to have all teachers compared to all football players (we would pay more to have all teachers), we choose how much to pay for one more teacher, or or more football player. The same goes for one more child as opposed to all children.

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[...]  So that, if you enjoy the sight of a well maintained yard, and your neighbour spend on maintaining his yard, but you don't pay him for doing so, you are stealing from him?

Yet again I have to repeat the obvious - yard maintenance does not constitute an economic emergency!  You were not born through your mother mowing her lawn!  No civilization in history has fallen into dark ages for lack of yard maintenance!

The issue is not emergencies, the issue is benefitting. You are saying that if you benefit from somebody's work, then you have a debt to that somebody. If this is true, then you have a debt to your neighbour if he maintains a yard that is nice for you to look out upon.

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Benefitting from people is not sufficient to claim that you have stolen from them.

Then, according to you, everyone should be able to get into debt and refuse to pay it back.  You are born indebted to reproduce.

No, this has it ass backwards. According to me, benefitting from somebody is neither necessary nor sufficient to have a debt to them. So I am not saying that everybody should be able to get into debt and then refuse to pay it back. I am saying that merely benefitting from somebody is not enough to say that I have a debt to them in the first place.

And I am born owing nothing to anybody. How can I be liable for costs I have no control over?

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If I (and sufficient others) do not reproduce, everybody suffers. But this suffering is not cause by our violating rights  [...]

As I have already explained, your concept of rights is illogical and based on nothing but wishful thinking.  What you're saying is indistinguishable from "screw those suckers who planted this vegetable field, I'm going to eat from it without compensating them".

No it is not. Eating from somebody's vegetable patch, whether I compensate them or not, without their consent violates their property rights. causing universal suffering by failing to reproduce doesn't.

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Absence of property rights discourages production.  Absence of parental benefits discourages reproduction.

Perhaps, but absence of parental benefits (nice to know that you think there are no benefits to having kids unless you are being paid! What a lovinh parent!) is not a violation of property rights.

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Force can be natural or artificial.  You are a part of the human race.  Is that force? 

Huh?

Is the government forcing you to be its citizen, use its currency, and suffer the effects of inflation?  The answer is yes - that constitutes artificial force, that is aggression.  You should be able to choose which voluntary organizations you belong to and which currency you choose to use.

Is anyone forcing you to be a part of the human race?  The answer is no.  You cannot choose to be born into a different civilization on another planet somewhere!  Maybe living in that other civilization would have some benefits: no need to eat, spend money on medicine, or reproduce.  But in this civilization those things are necessary for survival.  The fact that reality requires you to do those things is natural force.


Its not force at all, at least not in any sense comparable to being forced to pay taxes so that somebody who otherwise doesn't drops a sprog.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 27, 2009, 10:39:38 AM
(Still filling the gap with older posts.)


[...]  I just don't have time to read every post in this thread  [...]

Reading is fundamental.  Without knowing the facts, pretty much everything you've said is irrelevant.


[...]
Besides, Dan Carlin addressed this in his "Population is Destiny" episode, citing that our lack of population growth is due to our prosperity.

That episode [MP3] (http://dancarlin.libsyn.com/media/dancarlin/cswdca94.mp3) mostly dealt with immigration from one country to another, which I am in favor of (but with some temporary limits (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=14764.0)).  That doesn't apply to the human race as a whole - there are no other planets we can accept immigrants from.


[...] People without children pay property taxes (which mostly fund schools) and pay much more in income taxes than people with children.  [...]

Under the current socialist system, yes, but it is very ineffective at encouraging natalism and has all the other harms associated with government - brainwashing through public schools, altruism, inefficiency, and so on.  What I am proposing is a much better market-based alternative.


Alex, you know nothing about the complexities of humanities interactions and what the potentials are for what humanity can achieve. Neither do I, only I actually know it. Taking a few figures, calling them trends and announcing some great revelation does not signify anything. Your bad habit of trying to get everyone together to solve one of humanities problems is exactly why liberty has such a hard time.

I am very reluctant to advocate coercion, and I only do so as an alternative to an even more coercive outcome.  And I am very reluctant to make any projections about the future, but in this case it's a matter of basic arithmetic.


1) The statists do not have those answers either

Um, I'm not a statist, but this thread does present an answer.


Social engineering = FAIL!

Communist retards will claim that money and property rights is "social engineering".  What I'm doing is taking the capitalist philosophy one stem further, commoditizing value and providing a means to reward people for their labor.


[...]  what fills the "god-shaped hole" in their hearts  [...]

For me it's reason.


At least Alex isn't so small minded to obsess over "what about the roads", but he is even worse in that he sees all of nature and humanity as fodder for government intervention.

This thread is all about reducing the current government force.  And natalist incentives can exist without government.


Liberty is living without a net.

That's a very shallow and juvenile understanding of it.  Liberty is a consequence of the economic benefits derived from cooperation.  It does not trump survival.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Harry Tuttle on April 27, 2009, 10:09:01 PM

Quote from: Alex Libman
Alex, you know nothing about the complexities of humanities interactions and what the potentials are for what humanity can achieve. Neither do I, only I actually know it. Taking a few figures, calling them trends and announcing some great revelation does not signify anything. Your bad habit of trying to get everyone together to solve one of humanities problems is exactly why liberty has such a hard time.

I am very reluctant to advocate coercion, and I only do so as an alternative to an even more coercive outcome.  And I am very reluctant to make any projections about the future, but in this case it's a matter of basic arithmetic Assumptions.

Fixed.

Quote from: Alex Libman
Social engineering = FAIL!

Communist retards will claim that money and property rights is "social engineering".  What I'm doing is taking the capitalist philosophy one stem further, commoditizing value and providing a means to reward people for their labor.

It is the centralized planning that constitutes the "engineering". I am noticing more and more how few people really get the concept of the "invisible hand".

Quote from: Alex Libman
At least Alex isn't so small minded to obsess over "what about the roads", but he is even worse in that he sees all of nature and humanity as fodder for government intervention.

This thread is all about reducing the current government force.  And natalist incentives can exist without government.

As long as it is voluntary and I can opt out. I just think you are wasting your time with this bizarre fantasy that somehow civilization is doomed if human reproduction is not managed.

Quote from: Alex Libman
Liberty is living without a net.

That's a very shallow and juvenile understanding of it.  Liberty is a consequence of the economic benefits derived from cooperation.  It does not trump survival.

If the cooperation is not voluntary than it is not liberty.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Karrde188 on April 27, 2009, 11:52:04 PM
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[...]
Besides, Dan Carlin addressed this in his "Population is Destiny" episode, citing that our lack of population growth is due to our prosperity.

That episode [MP3] (http://dancarlin.libsyn.com/media/dancarlin/cswdca94.mp3) mostly dealt with immigration from one country to another, which I am in favor of (but with some temporary limits (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=14764.0)).  That doesn't apply to the human race as a whole - there are no other planets we can accept immigrants from.

My mistake, I was thinking about the "two Cars for China" one. That episode talked about how Dan felt that there were too many people on  the planet, & how he thinks economic prosperity will eventually lower, or keep in check, the overall world population, citing that prosperous people don't want to have more than 2 or 3 kids tops, whereas people in 3rd world countries have 6 to 8 or even more kids.

Where is your evidence that world population is either stagnant or shrinking? Because people are still breeding like rabbits in the 3rd world, & those countries are, well, most of the countries on this planet. Despite wars, poverty, & disease, those populations are still growing for the most part.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 28, 2009, 02:24:41 PM
I'll continue filling "the Richard Garner gap" a bit later.

In the mean time, an announcement:

YOU
HAVE
TO
LOOK
AT
THE
DATA
TO
UNDER
STAND
THIS
THREAD
!!!
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate)

It's unfortunate that I have to point this out, but apparently I do.  Use your mouse.  That little device next to your computer that fits in your hand.  Roll it across a surface to get the little arrow on your screen over those blue letters.  Then click the left button.  Then read.

Thank you.





Oh, and ...

... here's what you append to all your forum posts if you want every person viewing them to hammer maqs.com for ~8MB of bandwidth: 

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:twisted:
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 28, 2009, 02:25:51 PM
It is the centralized planning that constitutes the "engineering".

Like I've said, I'm brainstorming this idea as a potential step toward avoiding "central planning" by transitioning from the current state of government tyranny to a lesser and decentralized one, and hopefully someday none at all.


I am noticing more and more how few people really get the concept of the "invisible hand".

The economic "invisible hand" works through the "violence" of property rights, which is good.  The demographic "invisible hand" needs to work the same way, through the "violence" of parents' rights, including this Zakat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakat)-like obligation to pull your demographic weight.


As long as it is voluntary and I can opt out.

You can't opt out of government programs yet, but this would be a step in the right direction.  Rome wasn't built in a day.


I just think you are wasting your time with this bizarre fantasy that somehow civilization is doomed if human reproduction is not managed.

It doesn't have to be "managed" indefinitely, it just has to be within a reasonable range.  It can never go too high in a post-industrialized society because people have a choice when it comes to reproduction and they understand that having a baby requires a lot of time and money.  It can, however, go too low, which results in a crisis: aging population, shrinking population, falling IQ rates, decline of the total economy, instability, skyrocketing prices, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.  Etc.

So if it's above ~2.2 kids per woman on average, there's no need to "manage" anything.  At 2.1 there's cause for concern, but the effects would probably only eat up a fraction of the economic productivity gains.  At 2.0 there's more cause, and social pressure for people to pull their demographic weight becomes relevant.  At 1.9 economic decline is pretty much inevitable, thus more pressure is justified.  Etc.  But all secular post-industrialized counties seem to settle at around 1.5, and that's in spite of their governments' existing natalist policies, which are far more tyrannical than what I'm proposing!


If the cooperation is not voluntary than it is not liberty.

You can't base your philosophy on wishful thinking.  If you do, what's to stop everyone else from doing the same?  Some people out there don't recognize your property rights, and consider you not sharing your house and the contents of your refrigerator with them an "involuntary" limitation that you impose on them through force!

You have to base your philosophy on reason.  (See above.) (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28831.msg537518#msg537518)


That episode talked about how Dan felt that there were too many people on  the planet, [...]

Too many according to whom?  Biased government scientists with an agenda?  The reality is that agricultural efficiency continues to increase, and we've barely scratched the surface of the technologies that are already developed: cheap meat substitutes, fish farming, etc, etc, etc.  The carrying capacity of this planet is hundreds of billions, and it's a very big universe out there.  But, from the highest projections, the human race will peak at 9 billion mid-century and then decline indefinitely.


[...]  & how he thinks economic prosperity will eventually lower, or keep in check, [...]

They don't "keep in check", they just keep falling.  Some countries have farther to go toward this post-industrial condition than others, but the fertility rate in all countries is declining toward unsustainable levels.


citing that prosperous people don't want to have more than 2 or 3 kids tops

If that was true we wouldn't have this problem, but we do.  The EU average is 1.50 children per woman, the US (aka Jesusland) is no longer an exception at 2.05, and Japan is at 1.22.  And that's in spite of religion, government intensives, family pressure, and so on.  And in all those cases, most of the children are born to the poorest / most rural segments of society.


[...]  whereas people in 3rd world countries have 6 to 8 or even more kids.

That's not true.  Sure, there are exceptionally large families, but you have to look at the averages.  The highest freak exception is Mali with the fertility rate of 7.34 children per woman, but their death rate is very high as well.  Fertility rates have fallen very substantially in just the past few years, and there's no reason why Mali should be any more fertile in 50 years than Barbados is today.


Where is your evidence that world population is either stagnant or shrinking?  [...]

See above.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Harry Tuttle on April 28, 2009, 03:14:04 PM
Look Alex, I'm not an anarchist. I just think that something more like common law can be brought about as the power of the state is curtailed. Getting a significant portion of humanity to accept my position is no more of an unnattainable goal than convincing people to accept somebody else's guidelines on childbirth needs.

Still, I have seen the tables and think it is all a bunch of shit. You can sometimes aggregate a bunch of historical info on humans and describe a trend, but to think that you will predict some sort of static model of human reproduction, development and economics is just wrong. No individual or group is capable of grasping what possible solutions there are to any perceived problem. Top-down solutions just create limitations and unintended consequences.

A looter-state is unsustainable so worrying about how to deal with the poor, underfed, violent masses of the world is a losing proposition.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 30, 2009, 01:23:01 AM
From Slashdot -- Elderly To Get Satellite Navigation To Find Their Way Around Supermarkets (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/29/1610235) --

Quote
Three government centers in the UK have been working on a way to use digital technology to help the elderly and the disabled. One of their ideas is a supermarket satellite navigation system (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/technologynews/5241034/Elderly-shoppers-to-get-sat-nav-gadget-to-find-their-way-around-supermarkets.html) to help elderly people who get confused by changing layouts in the aisles. Professor Paul Watson, of Newcastle University, said: "Many older people lack the confidence to maintain 'normal' walking habits. This is often due to worries about getting lost in unfamiliar, new or changing environments." A kitchen for Alzheimer's patients packed with hidden sensors and projectors is also in the works.

When, due to low birth rates, we end up with more people over age 70 than under 50, we're gonna need a lot of innovations like this to keep society functional...  I wonder if speed limits on highways will be lowered to 25.  :lol:
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman 14 on May 23, 2009, 07:55:58 PM
So, did this thread persuade anyone to get pregnant yet?

(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-bounce014.gif) (http://www.freesmileys.org)
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Richard Garner on May 24, 2009, 08:33:52 AM
So, did this thread persuade anyone to get pregnant yet?

(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-bounce014.gif) (http://www.freesmileys.org)

Yes, I am now pregnant.

Give me money.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: libertylover on May 24, 2009, 09:02:31 AM
No Taxes for ANYTHING, and there is no problem with low birth rates the government gives free money to poor people who shouldn't have children, and even if everyone only had 1 child and population declined slowly, advances in science would solve the Depopulation problems which we would have several generations to fix.

and of course there will be the Mormons who have like 10 kids to make up for the rest of the people

Yep what he said.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman 14 on May 24, 2009, 10:30:26 AM
Yes, I am now pregnant.

Proof?  Are you sure it's not just constipation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constipation)?  (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-toilet04.gif) (http://www.freesmileys.org)

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: spicynujac on August 15, 2009, 01:16:26 PM
This idea really pisses me off, and I can't believe anyone takes it seriously.  If anything, I would collect money and pay people NOT to have children.  There's way too many of the fuckers out there already.  Anyway, those of us who choose to benefit ourselves and not sacrifice for the collective to reproduce are already taxed at a punitive rate.

If there were only 2 people left on the planet, and neither wanted to have kids, so be it, that is how humans will end (not that I could POSSIBLY ever forsee such a ridiculous scenario)!  Totally absurd to force them to reproduce. I suppose you also believe in eugenics?  And you actually said there is NO MAXIMUM LIMIT to the population that would be bad.  Wrong.  We have already passed that limit.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on August 15, 2009, 01:53:57 PM
This idea really pisses me off, and I can't believe anyone takes it seriously.  If anything, I would collect money and pay people NOT to have children.

As a childfree person, I fully endorse this.  You can send me money any time.   :D
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: libertylover on August 15, 2009, 06:05:52 PM
The reason behind this is the same for any pyramid scheme.  You have to have more people coming in to pay off the initial investors. 
Just about ever socialist countries tries to motivate their educated productive citizens to reproduce.  But social security is actual a disincentive to reproduce.  When people had to depend on family first then their local communities children were considered more valuable.  Under the guise of a social safety net children are seen as more of a burden without benefit for the parents future.   It is just another unintended consequence of social security types of schemes.   

On the opposite end of the spectrum the government sets up to make children valuable to the uneducated and unproductive with welfare programs.  So government social engineering efforts are just another major failure.  Cause on one end they are discouraging many in the intelligent group from reproducing while at the same time encouraging many of the unintelligent to reproduce.

I realize their are many other variables involved and I am just speaking to an over all trend with a possible cause.

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Elitist Bitch on August 16, 2009, 02:16:21 AM
I think my friends with children are starting to become a bit jealous of my happy childfree life. I say this because I get many more emails from friends telling me that "it'll be different when they're yours" and "your biological clock will start ticking soon" and "you don't have kids because you're selfish."

I think that the fact that the childless and childfree are already paying taxes for public services they're not using like schools is good enough.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: libertylover on August 16, 2009, 03:40:13 AM
I think my friends with children are starting to become a bit jealous of my happy childfree life. I say this because I get many more emails from friends telling me that "it'll be different when they're yours" and "your biological clock will start ticking soon" and "you don't have kids because you're selfish."

I think that the fact that the childless and childfree are already paying taxes for public services they're not using like schools is good enough.
Actually you should have every right to feel angry about paying for schools because they are just another worthless government program.   Well that should be regardless of your parental status.

I have had it both a very exciting child free lifestyle and now I have a wonderful son.   I was told I could never have children so I filled my life with travel and living in many different countries.   It was a fun lifestyle but always something was missing often I was disconnected and lonely.  When I finally moved back to the USA and decided to finally purchase a home.   I met a wonderful guy.   Who didn't care that it would be unlikely we would have any kids not that he was against children.  However, much to our surprise I got pregnant.   I some times reflect on my globe hopping days.  But what I remember isn't marveling at the Great Buddha in Japan, touring Pamunjung or living in London or visiting the Orkney's after crossing the North Sea on a massive ferry, or my time in Amsterdam.   I remember being very lonely and unfufilled.  Now that I have a family I feel much more connected and never lonely. 

It is really difficult to explain to someone who doesn't have kids but that is the best way I could put it.   It is a personal life choice.  If I had a choice to go back to my former lifestyle vs what I have now.  I would choose to have my wonderful loving and funny boy. 
Still, I would also highly recommend people postpone having kids until they are in their thirties just so they know themselves well enough to know if having a child is right for them.   I have friends who are still childless but sometimes I think they wonder if it was the right choice.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: miamiballoonguy on August 16, 2009, 09:31:17 AM
I think my friends with children are starting to become a bit jealous of my happy childfree life. I say this because I get many more emails from friends telling me that "it'll be different when they're yours" and "your biological clock will start ticking soon" and "you don't have kids because you're selfish."


That's what I get all the time...
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on August 16, 2009, 02:44:33 PM
I met a wonderful guy.   Who didn't care that it would be unlikely we would have any kids not that he was against children.  However, much to our surprise I got pregnant.

That must have been an interesting conversation!  Being "against children" sounds pretty adamant. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: libertylover on August 16, 2009, 05:42:17 PM
I met a wonderful guy.   Who didn't care that it would be unlikely we would have any kids not that he was against children.  However, much to our surprise I got pregnant.
That must have been an interesting conversation!  Being "against children" sounds pretty adamant. 

Sorry bad sentence construction.  He was not against children.  Kind of like he was interested in me first.  If we never had a child great.  If we had a child that was great as well. 

My OB was shocked when I turned up pregnant.  Because really it was very unlikely.  The interesting conversation was showing my partner my medical history.  The fertility workup I had done years earlier indicating it was highly improbable that I would ever conceive and if I did improbable I could carry to term.  Both of those happened without drugs.   I did have to remain on bed rest for 6 months of the pregnancy.  He was extremely supportive and thrilled. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Level 20 Anklebiter on August 16, 2009, 05:43:25 PM
I don't get these idiots that want to tax productive people. More people does not equal more productivity. Learn the law of diminishing returns, you daffy fucks!
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on August 16, 2009, 06:48:57 PM
I met a wonderful guy.   Who didn't care that it would be unlikely we would have any kids not that he was against children.  However, much to our surprise I got pregnant.
That must have been an interesting conversation!  Being "against children" sounds pretty adamant. 

Sorry bad sentence construction.  He was not against children.  Kind of like he was interested in me first.  If we never had a child great.  If we had a child that was great as well. 

My OB was shocked when I turned up pregnant.  Because really it was very unlikely.  The interesting conversation was showing my partner my medical history.  The fertility workup I had done years earlier indicating it was highly improbable that I would ever conceive and if I did improbable I could carry to term.  Both of those happened without drugs.   I did have to remain on bed rest for 6 months of the pregnancy.  He was extremely supportive and thrilled. 

I'm sorry you had to be on bed rest, but very glad that you and your partner have a son that you love.   
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on August 16, 2009, 07:31:39 PM
How about just a massive tax on condoms and birth control?  :lol:
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Elitist Bitch on August 16, 2009, 11:44:23 PM
Actually you should have every right to feel angry about paying for schools because they are just another worthless government program.   Well that should be regardless of your parental status.

I have had it both a very exciting child free lifestyle and now I have a wonderful son.   I was told I could never have children so I filled my life with travel and living in many different countries.   It was a fun lifestyle but always something was missing often I was disconnected and lonely.  When I finally moved back to the USA and decided to finally purchase a home.   I met a wonderful guy.   Who didn't care that it would be unlikely we would have any kids not that he was against children.  However, much to our surprise I got pregnant.   I some times reflect on my globe hopping days.  But what I remember isn't marveling at the Great Buddha in Japan, touring Pamunjung or living in London or visiting the Orkney's after crossing the North Sea on a massive ferry, or my time in Amsterdam.   I remember being very lonely and unfufilled.  Now that I have a family I feel much more connected and never lonely. 

It is really difficult to explain to someone who doesn't have kids but that is the best way I could put it.   It is a personal life choice.  If I had a choice to go back to my former lifestyle vs what I have now.  I would choose to have my wonderful loving and funny boy. 
Still, I would also highly recommend people postpone having kids until they are in their thirties just so they know themselves well enough to know if having a child is right for them.   I have friends who are still childless but sometimes I think they wonder if it was the right choice.


I'm very glad for you :)

I've known since I was ten I didn't want to have any kids of my own, and I've not wavered for a moment since. I found out when I was twenty that I have some medical issues that pretty much nix childbearing. But I've always been happy alone, and when I find someone that makes me happy to be with him, that will be nice too. I'm not leaving out the possibility that I may someday want a child.
(But right now, my boyfriend is more than enough of a child at times!)

I agree with the waiting to have children, but 30 is sort of a sweet spot, as the chances of birth defects and pregnancy complications increase after 35.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: libertylover on August 17, 2009, 04:03:43 AM
Actually you should have every right to feel angry about paying for schools because they are just another worthless government program.   Well that should be regardless of your parental status.

I have had it both a very exciting child free lifestyle and now I have a wonderful son.   I was told I could never have children so I filled my life with travel and living in many different countries.   It was a fun lifestyle but always something was missing often I was disconnected and lonely.  When I finally moved back to the USA and decided to finally purchase a home.   I met a wonderful guy.   Who didn't care that it would be unlikely we would have any kids not that he was against children.  However, much to our surprise I got pregnant.   I some times reflect on my globe hopping days.  But what I remember isn't marveling at the Great Buddha in Japan, touring Pamunjung or living in London or visiting the Orkney's after crossing the North Sea on a massive ferry, or my time in Amsterdam.   I remember being very lonely and unfufilled.  Now that I have a family I feel much more connected and never lonely. 

It is really difficult to explain to someone who doesn't have kids but that is the best way I could put it.   It is a personal life choice.  If I had a choice to go back to my former lifestyle vs what I have now.  I would choose to have my wonderful loving and funny boy. 
Still, I would also highly recommend people postpone having kids until they are in their thirties just so they know themselves well enough to know if having a child is right for them.   I have friends who are still childless but sometimes I think they wonder if it was the right choice.


I'm very glad for you :)

I've known since I was ten I didn't want to have any kids of my own, and I've not wavered for a moment since. I found out when I was twenty that I have some medical issues that pretty much nix childbearing. But I've always been happy alone, and when I find someone that makes me happy to be with him, that will be nice too. I'm not leaving out the possibility that I may someday want a child.
(But right now, my boyfriend is more than enough of a child at times!)

I agree with the waiting to have children, but 30 is sort of a sweet spot, as the chances of birth defects and pregnancy complications increase after 35.

Currently with better nutrition and medical advances that pregnancy complications age has been pushed back to 40 for most women.   35 is the old bench mark from like from the 80s.   It also depends on where you were raised and what you were exposed to during your life.

Granted there are people who know that they don't want kids and they shouldn't have them.   
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman 15 on September 09, 2009, 11:15:33 AM
This thread can still be used to discuss the "Childless Tax", but there's now a new thread for discussing an alternative idea, the "Parents Tax (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=30621)", and how the two compare.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on August 04, 2010, 04:06:27 AM
In case anyone failed to figure this out, this thread is a gag.  C'mon, Joseph Stalin had the very same idea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_on_childlessness).  Human extinction FTW!  :lol:
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Karrde188 on August 04, 2010, 10:42:12 AM
This thread brings out the environmentalist in me. As I've said before, there are environmental benefits to lower populations. Lets pretend, for a moment, that at the end of the day, the Al Gores of the world are right. And lets say that in response to those warnings, the market comes up with Cars, trucks, planes, Buses, ships, homes, & buildings that cut their pollution by, oh lets say 20%. And lets pretend that in 10 years time, all of our homes, buildings & vehicles around the World put out 20% less pollution per unit.

If the world population grows in that time by 20%, that means we'll have 20% more Cars, trucks, planes, Buses, ships, homes, & buildings to accommodate all those extra people on this already crowded (from a global warming standpoint) planet, thus Negating any progress we may have made to reduce our pollution output. And we're back to square one.

With that in mind, if the greenies do take over, I want the fact that I'm childless & don't plan on having any kids to be my License to drive any gas guzzling sports car, truck, or SUV I want, take as many long haul Business or First Class flights around the world I want, & take as long a shower I want at any time, with my thermostat set at 69 degrees, (like I pretty much do already, lol) without any tax penalty!  :lol:
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: YixilTesiphon on August 04, 2010, 10:45:32 AM
Global warming is real, population reduction won't happen, and the only solution is space colonization.

Which private companies should stand ready to implement, thus freeing billions of people from state control.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Karrde188 on August 04, 2010, 10:47:27 AM

Let me correct myself: If global warming is all Humanity's fault....
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on August 04, 2010, 05:07:28 PM
Environmentalism is bullshit - this solar system alone can support trillions.  The reason why I stopped worrying about demographic collapse so much isn't because it isn't a very serious problem for humanity, but because human beings are idiots.  Those monkey-brained meat-bags cannot be the driving force of civilization for much longer!

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5e/Number_Six_Tricia_Helfer.jpg) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_Six_(Battlestar_Galactica))

;)

Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on August 04, 2010, 05:55:21 PM
Earth and all its people: love it or leave it.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Terror Australis on August 05, 2010, 05:06:28 AM
Humans are the larval stage of an eventual machine race. :)
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on August 06, 2010, 09:59:39 PM
.[youtube=425,350]<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CGnfKnfY6EM&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CGnfKnfY6EM&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>[/youtube]
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on August 08, 2010, 05:45:50 AM
Maybe the Earth itself is one giant tragedy of the commons, but according to the data I have read, the Earths population is set to go down starting in 2050. That figure is based on current trends and doesn't take into account unforeseen events that are inevitable like war, disease, or the invention of male birth control.

America is treading water, and Europe has been on the decline as a whole. Japan already peaked, and Chinas one child only policy worked. A middle class person in the Western world has a car, but someone who just moved out of the poverty line in Sierra Leone isn't about to go out and buy a car.


So, I don't really see a problem.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on August 08, 2010, 06:40:21 AM
Maybe the Earth itself is one giant tragedy of the commons, but according to the data I have read, the Earths population is set to go down starting in 2050. That figure is based on current trends and doesn't take into account unforeseen events that are inevitable like war, disease, or the invention of male birth control.

America is treading water, and Europe has been on the decline as a whole. Japan already peaked, and Chinas one child only policy worked. A middle class person in the Western world has a car, but someone who just moved out of the poverty line in Sierra Leone isn't about to go out and buy a car.


So, I don't really see a problem.

They're going to invent male birth control?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on August 08, 2010, 07:26:09 AM
Maybe the Earth itself is one giant tragedy of the commons, but according to the data I have read, the Earths population is set to go down starting in 2050. That figure is based on current trends and doesn't take into account unforeseen events that are inevitable like war, disease, or the invention of male birth control.

America is treading water, and Europe has been on the decline as a whole. Japan already peaked, and Chinas one child only policy worked. A middle class person in the Western world has a car, but someone who just moved out of the poverty line in Sierra Leone isn't about to go out and buy a car.


So, I don't really see a problem.

They're going to invent male birth control?

In pill form by 2012 or '13.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on August 08, 2010, 03:52:56 PM
Maybe the Earth itself is one giant tragedy of the commons, but according to the data I have read, the Earths population is set to go down starting in 2050. That figure is based on current trends and doesn't take into account unforeseen events that are inevitable like war, disease, or the invention of male birth control.

America is treading water, and Europe has been on the decline as a whole. Japan already peaked, and Chinas one child only policy worked. A middle class person in the Western world has a car, but someone who just moved out of the poverty line in Sierra Leone isn't about to go out and buy a car.


So, I don't really see a problem.

They're going to invent male birth control?

In pill form by 2012 or '13.

Rubbers aren't male birth control?
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on August 08, 2010, 04:11:26 PM
Rubbers aren't male birth control?

They are, but it would sure be nice for guys to have the same option women currently do-- use condoms and the pill, but once in an established clean relationship go with the pill only. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on August 08, 2010, 04:31:18 PM
Rubbers aren't male birth control?

They are, but it would sure be nice for guys to have the same option women currently do-- use condoms and the pill, but once in an established clean relationship go with the pill only. 

Of course, I wouldn't want it stopped, but I'm wondering if that will have the unintended effect on STD transfer rates.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Rillion on August 08, 2010, 04:54:51 PM
Of course, I wouldn't want it stopped, but I'm wondering if that will have the unintended effect on STD transfer rates.

I don't think it would.  Those couples who will be willing to rely on the male pill without a condom in the future are most likely the ones relying on the female pill without a condom today.   A male pill will allow them to either transfer the primary birth control to the male if they wish, or double-up on pregnancy prevention by having both on the pill.  I don't imagine that many people who currently use condoms for STD prevention would stop doing so if given access to a male pill if they haven't already done so for the female version. 
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Alex Libman on August 08, 2010, 08:16:05 PM
Fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate#The_CIA_TFR_Ranking) are falling a lot faster than that original "peak out at ~2050" estimate.  In every part of the world we can see examples of more developed countries that are already at below-replacement fertility, and their more backward neighbors will be just like them shortly.  And religion ain't gonna do zilch in the long term - Catholic parts of Europe and North America are actually experiencing the lowest fertility rates now, and that's a religion that explicitly forbids contraception, Islam does not!  Contraception can be imported into a country very quickly, and -- WHAM -- fertility rates can go from those of Afghanistan (5.6) or Laos (4.41) to those of Iran (1.71) or Thailand (1.65) - and once they go down they stay down indefinitely.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on August 09, 2010, 11:42:32 AM
We're going to see more of the same fertility trend: developed countries reproduce less, and undeveloped countries keep producing (until they become more developed), thus picking up the gap, but overall, slowing the increase until it caps somewhere fairly "reasonable."

My problem with all this is the people who "should have not children"  are typically the people having children (this is not an ethical comment--it's a comment on the thought processes that lead to or are absent in having children), and the gene pool is getting polluted.  Fortunately, most significant genetic changes don't occur in 50 years, so it's probably a minor effect.

Addendum
added important and missing "not" to "should have children"
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: libertylover on August 10, 2010, 11:22:21 AM
We're going to see more of the same fertility trend: developed countries reproduce less, and undeveloped countries keep producing (until they become more developed), thus picking up the gap, but overall, slowing the increase until it caps somewhere fairly "reasonable."

My problem with all this is the people who "should have children"  are typically the people having children (this is not an ethical comment--it's a comment on the thought processes that lead to or are absent in having children), and the gene pool is getting polluted.  Fortunately, most significant genetic changes don't occur in 50 years, so it's probably a minor effect.

Don't you mean the people who should have children are not having children?  A while back I read an article on the psychology of why famine and war torn areas have increased childbirth rates.   Because it seems counter intuitive to produce more children than you could possibly hope to care for.   Whereas people in places that could support more children tend to have fewer.   The main reason given was a statistical one.   With each additional child the chances of your line continuing is increased even against the long odds of survival.   
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on August 10, 2010, 11:29:42 AM
We're going to see more of the same fertility trend: developed countries reproduce less, and undeveloped countries keep producing (until they become more developed), thus picking up the gap, but overall, slowing the increase until it caps somewhere fairly "reasonable."

My problem with all this is the people who "should have children"  are typically the people having children (this is not an ethical comment--it's a comment on the thought processes that lead to or are absent in having children), and the gene pool is getting polluted.  Fortunately, most significant genetic changes don't occur in 50 years, so it's probably a minor effect.

Don't you mean the people who should have children are not having children?  A while back I read an article on the psychology of why famine and war torn areas have increased childbirth rates.   Because it seems counter intuitive to produce more children than you could possibly hope to care for.   Whereas people in places that could support more children tend to have fewer.   The main reason given was a statistical one.   With each additional child the chances of your line continuing is increased even against the long odds of survival.  

More or less.  Thanks for noticing.  I meant the people who shouldn't have them are having them.  I've adjusted my comment.
Title: Re: Childless Tax
Post by: Harry Tuttle on August 12, 2010, 12:23:46 AM
LOL current trends.